DAFYDD Iwan spoke in front of hundreds of people at a rally calling for more action to protect the Welsh language in Carmarthen on Saturday.

The protest, organised by Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith, was held in the county which has seen the largest decline in Welsh speakers.

Iwan, the Brynamman-born Welsh singer and nationalist politician, said people "shouldn't be despondent" about the future of the language as there were "signs of hope".

He added there was greater support for the Welsh language, but called for more Welsh-medium schools to be established across Wales.

The crowd marched from the rally at County Hall in Carmarthen to the Government office in Picton Terrace, with calls for the Welsh Government to take action.

"We must heed the warning of the census statistics, but we should never despair," said Iwan.

"There are clear signs that the campaigning over the last 60 years has created a revolution in Wales, and it is important that we celebrate that.

"The battle to win the minds and hearts of the Welsh, especially the young, continues, and in the battle lies hope. It will never end."

Protesters left seven demands on the windows of the Welsh government offices in Carmarthen on Saturday.

They included a new property act and a Welsh education act.

Sioned Elin, of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said: "If we don't succeed in turning the tide now, it is unlikely that there will be any natural Welsh speaking communities left in Carmarthenshire by the next Census.

"But it is certainly not a time to despair, it is a time to act.

"We will make seven demands on the Welsh Government as the basis for an Emergency Plan of active steps to revive our Welsh language and communities."

Tivyside Advertiser: About 250 people attended the rally in CarmarthenAbout 250 people attended the rally in Carmarthen (Image: Newsquest)

The number of speakers in Carmarthenshire has dropped by 4.1%, latest Census data shows, after a 6.4% drop in 2011.

The number of Welsh speakers across Wales has fallen in the past decade, with fewer children speaking the language, according to the 2021 Census.

Meanwhile the Welsh government says there are commitments to create 23 Welsh-medium primary schools in the next 10 years.

"Welsh language schools are crucial in our ambition of one million speakers by 2050, and every county in Wales has an important part to play," said a spokesperson.