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Last Updated: Friday, 3 October, 2003, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
TV Welsh lessons for prison chief
Eoin Lawrence
Eoin Lawrence plans to continue with his studies
The governor of Swansea Prison has taken a crash course in Welsh to help him speak the language to inmates and staff.

To encourage Eoin Lawrence with his studies TV presenter and tutor Nia Parry spent time behind bars giving him a seven-day challenge.

Viewers of the next edition of the S4C programme Welsh in a Week will see Mr Lawrence taking classes so he can attempt to inspect the prison kitchens through the medium of Welsh.

It has given him an appetite to learn more and now he is intending on carrying on with his studies.

In the prison, it would be nice to be able to speak Welsh with the staff, and also with the prisoners
Eoin Lawrence

Mr Lawrence, a father-of-two originally from Cardiff, said: "People used to ask me if I spoke Welsh, and when I said no, they used to ask me why not?

"And that's a question I ask myself quite often.

"I think that because I travel a lot with my job, I find it hard to set time aside to learn the language."

Evening lessons

As part of the challenge, he had to give staff feedback on the food and the menu on offer.

But he says being able to speak Welsh would have many advantages for prison life.

Swansea Prison
Swansea's city centre prison was opened in 1850

"In the prison, it would be nice to be able to speak Welsh with the staff, and also with the prisoners, especially if they have problems they'd rather discuss in Welsh.

"The week with Nia was great, and I intend to start evening lessons soon at Swansea University.

"My children will also be able to help me while I learn as both of them attend Welsh schools."

Each week Nia Parry visits different people, setting them a Welsh language challenge.

Eoin Lawrence is on watch Welsh in a Week on S4C at 2100 BST on Tuesday 7 October.

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