Wednesday, July 19, 2006
No Paseran-Let us remember 70 years on.
Thanks to Comrade Séamus Ryan, Cllr. in Waterford whose excellent blog reminds me that today marks the 70th. anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Recently, the legendary Mick O' Riordan who was honoured by the Labour Party a number of years ago died. I was privileged to know Mick in Dublin in my Labour Youth days, and he'll be missed. Local member and very important one at that, Gary Lynch travelled for Mick's funeral in Dublin. Unfortunately, work meant I could not make it.
Let's remember today the members of La Quince Brigada, or the Fifteenth International Brigade, a group of Socialist and
Republican volunteers who travelled from Ireland and many of whom lost their lives defending the Republican Government. They were to be unsuccessful eventually in the face of Franco, who plunged Spain into 40 years of dictatorship. Now that we are in the era of balance however, it must be recognised that many who travelled on the Blueshirt side under the command of Eoin O' Duffy, were also idealistic young men who believed they were saving the world from Communist dictatorship (the suppport of Stalin for the struggle in Spain gave meat to this argument).
Meanwhile, I came across a number of Kilkenny names of the International Brigade on an excellent website this morning. If anybody who knows anything about these men, I'd be delighted to receive any information about them:George Browne, Manchester-Kilkenny, Seán Dowling, Castlecomer or Denis Holden, Carlow
Meanwhile, here's the words of my party piece, the best Irish song about the International Brigade, although it's short on the Déise names, I'm told
Viva La Quince Brigada by Christy Moore
Ten years before I saw the light of morning
A comradeship of heroes was laid.
From every corner of the world came sailing
The Fifteenth International Brigade.
They came to stand beside the Spanish people.
To try and stem the rising Fascist tide
Franco's allies were the powerful and wealthy,
Frank Ryan's men came from the other side.
Even the olives were bleeding
As the battle for Madrid it thundered on.
Truth and love against the force af evil,
Brotherhood against the Fascist clan.
Vive La Quinta Brigada!
"No Paseran" the pledge that made them fight.
"Adelante" was the cry around the hillside.
Let us all remember them tonight.
Bob Hillard was a Church of Ireland pastor;F
rom Killarney across the Pyrenees he came.
From Derry came a brave young Christian Brother.
Side by side they fought and died in Spain.
Tommy Woods, aged seventeen, died in Cordoba.
With Na Fianna he learned to hold his gun.
From Dublin to the Villa del Rio
Where he fought and died beneath the Spanish sun.
Many Irishmen heard the call of Franco.
Joined Hitler and Mussolini too.
Propaganda from the pulpit and newspapers
Helped O'Duffy to enlist his crew.
The word came from Maynooth: 'Support the Fascists.'
The men of cloth failed yet again
When the bishops blessed the blueshirts in Dun Laoghaire
As they sailed beneath the swastika to Spain.
This song is a tribute to Frank Ryan.
Kit Conway and Dinny Coady too.
Peter Daly, Charlie Regan and Hugh Bonar.
Though many died I can but name a few.
Danny Doyle, Blaser-Brown and Charlie Donnelly.
Liam Tumilson and Jim Straney from the Falls.J
ack Nally, Tommy Patton and Frank Conroy,
Jim Foley, Tony Fox and Dick O'Neill.
Posted by Seán Ó hArgáin at 8:59 am