Belfast Memorial to Volunteers

Winner of the "The shortest lived SCW memorial" contest

Updated, November 8th 2007

The International Brigades Commemoration Committee was pleased to erect their memorial to the 78 men born in Northern Ireland who participated in the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War.

The Memorial was designed by Anto Brennan, of Open Window Productions, and is comprised of an Armagh granite base with a bronze sculpture of a volunteers head on an map of Spain.

For various reasons the memorial has faced delays over the past 2 years and 8 months - that's how lnog we've been trying to get a memorial And at the last minute there were more problems, delays with the planners.

The IBCC is linked to the overall veterans group, the International Brigades Memorial Trust and when the IBMT said it was going to have it's annual general meeting in Belfast on October 13th, we said we'd have a memorial. And we did, no matter how briefly. The memorial was unveiled by Bob Doyle, the last surviving Irish Brigadista, he fought in Spain. [There is one other Irish veteran of the war, Paddy Cochrane, a medic.] Bob was accompanied on the trip to Belfast by Jack Jones, President of the IBMT and Jack Edwards, a Liverpool volunteer.

There was a sizeable attendance at the unveiling, with representatives of at least 18 families of Irish veterans present - along obviously with representatives of numerous British volunteers as well.

Irish Veterans represented included the following.

I'm sure I've missed some names, please get in touch to let me know, Saturday was a bit on the busy side of things

Those volunteers indicated by BOLD either died in Spain or during World War 2 as they continued the anti-fascist struggle.
Frank Edwards - by his son Gerry Doran - by his daughters - Ann and Gerry
Joe Boyd - by his daughter Liz Shaw and other family members Fred McMahon by his daughter Paddy and son Alan
Henry McGrath - by his nephew Tommy and other family members Dick O'Neill - by a nephew
James Domegan - by his sister and nephew Liam Tumilson - by his cousin Paddy
Jim Stranney - by his sister, Maureen and other family members. Patsy McAllister - by his niece Eileen.
Mick O'Riordan - by his son Manus and other family members. Peter O'Connor - by his son Emmet.
Tommy Hyndman - by Tommy Barr, a cousin. Richard McAleenan - by niece, Carmel Hanna
Charlie Donnelly - by his sister and other family members. Frank Ryan - by his cousin Cecilia.
Jim Haughey - by Sean and Brendan - 2 nephews Ben Murray - by his great-nephew Brian

A fuller report will be added later, but here are a few photographs from the unveiling, etc. There WILL be a follow up rededication event when we can finally erect the memorial, literally put it in concrete, etc. Anyone who wants to be notified should get in touch.

Ciaran Crossey, Belfast, 15th October.

Bob Doyle at the No Pasaran memorial, Belfast, October 13th 2007

L-R: Jack Jones, Bob Doyle  and Frank Edwards at the sculpture

Jack Jones and Bob Doyle at the Linen Hall Library exhibition One of the morning papers, the Newsletter, carried this report of the weekend.

BBC News report, 15th October

This links thru to the BBC webpage which has another couple of photographs as well.

Opening remarks by IBCC secretary, Kevin Doherty.
Address by Joe Donnelly to the IBMT/IBCC events. He is the brother of Charlie Donnelly but was unable to attend the weekends events due to ill health. Extracts from Speech by Minister Margaret Ritchie at the unveiling
Morning Star, October 16, 2007
Marking the Brigades, by Ann Douglas.
New Worker International News, 26 October 2007
Belfast celebrates International Brigades, by Dolly Shaer

This is class war

Address by Bob Doyle at the unveiling.