Belfast and Lurgan Commemorations
6th-9th Nov 2008 - reports

The International Brigades Commemoration Committee were very pleased to convene a series of events to Commemorate those men born here who took part in the Spanish Civil war. Our commemorations culminated with the unveiling of the Belfast Memorial for the men who died in the Spanish Civil War.

We were very pleased to have Bob Doyle, the last Irish fighter in Spain, along with Jack Edwards from Liverpool.

Unfortunately we were unable to get the other surviving Irish volunteer - Paddy Cochrane who was a medic in Spain - over for the event. Paddy's story was recently carried in the Times and can be read here. There is a short interview with him on the Shapes of Time website. Scroll down that page until you see the intriging line .."I sat on my leg to stop the bleeding..."

If you wish to see the Memorial - Map for Writers' Square.

Among those represented at the unveiling were the families of Brigadiers -

  • Joe Boyd - represented by his daughter, Liz Shaw and son in law Brendan.
  • Gerry Doran - by Anne O'Hara and Gerry Doran - his daughters
  • Frank Edwards - by his son Sean.
  • Jim Hyndman - by Tommy Barr, a nephew.
  • Tom Kerr - by great nephew Gary Boe.
  • Harry McGrath - represented by 2 nephews, Freddie and Tommy McGrath
  • Fred McMahon - represented by his daughter Paddy Holmes and son Alan.
  • Mick O'Riordan - by Manus and other family memebers.
  • Liam Tumilson - by Cecil Tumilson
  • Harry Fraser - by his daughter Pauline, who is an officer of the International Brigades Memorial Trust.
  • There may have been other relatives there, and if anyone contacts me I will add them to this list.

    Apologies had been received from several other families who had attended the initial, temporary, unveiling in October 2007 but who were unable to attend this time, families like that of Jim Stranney, Ben Murray, James Domegan.

  1. Thursday 6th:- Poetry, tapas and music, La Boca, Fountain St, Belfast. More details.

  2. Friday 7th - 1st Jim Haughey Memorial Lecture - reports and photos from this well attended event.

  3. Pat's Bar - Pilot street, Belfast. More details.

  4. Launch of No Pasaran!, Belfast Trades Council pamphlet on the Northern volunteers. Reports and photos

  5. Re-dedication of the Memorial Sculptor, Writers' Square, Donegal St. Reports and photos

  6. Later Social Activities. Brief Report and photos!

  7. On Sunday afternoon

  • Press Reports

  • Slugger O'Toole, a blogsite on Northern Irish politics, carried a mention and a link through to a YouTube piece. Thanks for both.
  • Irish News, November 10, 2008

    Anti-fascist veterans unveil memorial

    A plaque commemorating the 15th International Brigade's part in the Spanish Civil War has been unveiled in Belfast by the last surviving Irishman who took part in its battle against fascism.

    The bronze sculpture of a soldier's head on a map of Spain was the work of artist Anto Brennan and commemorates the 78 men born in Northern Ireland who fought in the 1936-39 conflict.

    The families of 18 other Irish veterans of the 15th International Brigade also took part in the event at Writers' Square in the city centre, where the plaque was unveiled by civil war veteran Bob Doyle.

  • Morning Star, Monday 10th Nov. Read it here.
  • Lurgan Mail Memorial Lecture, Nov. 6th. [Advertising the event.]
  • Irish News, Monday 10th Nov - An article based on Roy Garlands speech to the Haughey Memorial Lecture.
  • Speeches

  • Bob Doyle speaking at the Unveiling Ceremony.
  • To be added
    Kevin Doherty, Secretary of the IBCC at the unveiling.
  • Jack Edwards