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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Pat Purcell Papers


Spanish- Irish Brigade.

1936

By kind permission of Michael Purcell


Spanish- Irish Brigade. c.1936

Spanish Civil War.

Members of the Carlow Unit who went to Spain with General O'Eoin Duffy's Irish Brigade to fight with the forces of Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War 1936 - 1939.

From a list compiled by Dick Walsh of Burrin Street, Carlow:

Pat Dunny, John St. Carlow.
Dick Matthews, Castle Hill, Carlow.
James Emerson, Carlow
Billie Moran, Carlow.
Dick Walsh, Burrin St. Carlow.
F. Fitzsimon, Carlow.
Phil Dunphy, Carlow.
Michael Brennan, Leighlin.
Michael Foley, Leighlin.
J. Cummins, Tullow.
Jim Lawlor, Bagnalstown.
Tom Kenny, Hacketstown.
Mick Tobin, Graiguecullen.
George Hoare, Graiguecullen.
Gaza Donahue, Graiguecullen.

In 1936 General Eoin O'Duffy, founder of the National Corporate Party, led the Irish Brigade to fight for Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War.

The Irish Government was against any type of participation in the conflict nevertheless the General organised a 800 strong force of Irishmen to fight against the Republicans in Spain.

The Brigade, having seen little or no action, returned to Ireland in 1937.

At the same time another force of about 500 men from Ireland, known as the Connolly Column, led by Frank Ryan went to Spain to fight for the Spanish Republicans against the Francisco Franco forces.

Some of the enlisted men in the Connolly Column (mainly ex-I.R.A. men who had opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty) saw this as a continuation of Ireland's own Civil War!.

Several of the Connolly Column were killed in action during the conflict.

Frank Ryan was captured and sentenced to death but following intervention from Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Eamon de Valera the sentence was not carried out.

Mr. Rockett (Jim ?) from Hanover was one of the Carlow volunteers who went to Spain but his name does not appear on Dick Walsh's list, so was he in the Connolly Column ?

General Eoin O'Duffy was one time leader of the Army Comrades Association, later nicknamed "The Blueshirts", he later became the first President of the Fine Gael Party.

Source: Michael Purcell c.2011

The above is a true and accurate transcript of the original document.

Transcribed by Jean Casey, November 2009.

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