Tributes paid as Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts dies
THE WELSH Language Commissioner, Aled Roberts, died on Sunday (February 13).
The former Liberal Democrat MS and leader of Wrexham County Council was 59 years old.
Mr Roberts was born in Rhosllannerchrugog, near Wrexham.
After studying law at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, he worked as a solicitor in Ruthin and Mold.
As a councillor, he represented Ponciau ward from 1991 to 2012 and was elected leader of Wrexham Council in March 2005.
Aled Roberts served as a regional MS for North Wales from 2011-2016.
In the Senedd, he served as a shadow minister for children, education, and the Welsh language.
He only ever spoke Welsh in Senedd debates.
In April 2019, Mr Roberts succeeded Meri Huws as the Welsh Language Commissioner.
Wales’s Liberal Democrat leader, Jane Dodds MS, said: “The passing of Aled is a deep loss for the Welsh Liberal Democrat family.
“Aled made an immense contribution to Welsh political life and the Welsh language.”
Ms Dodds continued: “Aled was a committed liberal and was known for his extraordinary hard work as both an assembly member for North Wales and as a senior councillor.
“A tireless advocate of the protection and promotion of Welsh, he excelled in his role as the Welsh language commissioner and sought to promote the language in all aspects of life, including in his role as member of the Welsh Parliament.”
Deputy Welsh Language Commissioner, Gwenith Price, said: “Aled was a warm character with an extraordinary talent to bring people together.
“His love for his community, and his passion for the growth of the Welsh language in north-east Wales, drove him to want to see change which would benefit the whole nation.
“People were at the centre of everything he did. He had a firm vision for increasing rights for Welsh speakers, and for ensuring justice where he saw unfairness. He wished to see a Wales where every citizen had the opportunity to speak and use the language.
“His enthusiasm was unmatched, and he continued to work throughout his illness. It was a privilege to work with him.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of his death, and we know that everyone who has worked with him will feel the same.
“Our thoughts today are with his family; with his wife, Llinos, and their sons, Ifan and Osian, his mother and sister. Our deepest condolences to them in their loss.”
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for the Welsh Language, Heledd Fychan MS, said: “Aled was hugely respected across the political parties as a former Leader of Wrexham Borough Council, a former Assembly Member and then as Welsh Language Commissioner.
“He was passionate about the Language, and the use of it in our everyday lives, and he will be greatly missed.
“On behalf of Plaid Cymru, I would like to send our deepest sympathy to his family and friends today and thank you for his contribution to the nation.”
The Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for the Welsh Language, Sam Kurtz MS, said: The news of the death of Aled Roberts is very sad.
“He was a strong ambassador for the Welsh language. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Wales’s First Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “I am shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of Aled Roberts.
“He brought a breadth of experience to the role of Welsh Language Commissioner and focused on making Welsh a living language that’s part of our everyday experience.
“My thoughts are with his family and friends.”
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