4. 90-second Statements

– in the Senedd at 3:12 pm on 5 June 2024.

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Photo of David Rees David Rees Labour 3:12, 5 June 2024

(Translated)

Item 4 today is the 90-second statements, and first, Peter Fox.

Photo of David Rees David Rees Labour

I caught you by surprise, Peter.

Photo of Peter Fox Peter Fox Conservative

You did. Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd. Today, I want to pay tribute to the rugby league legend Rob Burrow CBE, an incredible man who sadly passed away earlier this week at the young age of 41. He was a selfless man who dedicated the final years of his life to raising awareness of motor neurone disease, a cruel and devastating condition that sadly took his life. Rob Burrow was diagnosed in 2019, just two years after he retired from his 17-year career playing with the Rhinos and Great Britain.

While his incredible sporting achievements will be long talked about, I want to thank him and pay tribute to his drive and determination in advocating for people with MND and the search for a cure. He was an inspiration for all of us, and certainly for the many people suffering with MND, many across Wales. Following his diagnosis, Rob Burrow was involved in raising an astonishing £15 million in just five years towards tackling the condition.

This man who lived life to the full with passion, drive and unmeasurable fortitude—I just want to end with a powerful message from the man:

'My final message to you is whatever your personal battle be brave and face it. Every single day is precious. Don’t waste a moment.'

Wise and powerful words from an inspirational and strong man. We thank him for all he did. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Photo of James Evans James Evans Conservative 3:14, 5 June 2024

Eighty years ago, on 6 June 1944, during D-day, the largest amphibious invasion in military history took place. Welsh servicemen and women played a critical role in the liberation of Europe from Nazi tyranny. Over 150,000 troops, including countless Welsh servicemen, landed on the beaches of Normandy in operations codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. These brave soldiers faced heavily fortified German positions, and tragically over 10,000 Allied casualties were sustained on D-day alone.

The bravery of Welsh soldiers on the Normandy beaches, like the 2nd Battalion, the Welsh Borderers, was absolutely remarkable. Wales itself became a training ground for the Allies. Locations like Mumbles served as a rehearsal site for US troops, simulating everything from unloading ships under fire, treating casualties and handling prisoners. Mock hospitals were even constructed, like the one near Carmarthen, on today's site of the Glangwili General Hospital. Wales's dedication to the war effort was profound. The unwavering spirit and sacrifice both on the beaches and in the factories that supplied the invasion stand as a testament to their critical role in securing victory on D-Day and the ultimate liberation of Europe and the freedom that we all enjoy today. Diolch, Deputy Llywydd.