Local brigadistas to be remembered in Derry

Some of the men who travelled to Spain to join the fight against fascism.
Some of the men who travelled to Spain to join the fight against fascism.

Volunteers from Derry, Donegal and Tyrone who fought in the Spanish Civil War will be commemorated in Derry later this month.

Relatives of those who left from these shores to join the fight, will be among those taking part in a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939.

The commemorative antifascist event will take place at the North West International Brigade’s plaque at the Unite the Union building on Carlisle Road, Derry on Saturday March 30.

The North’s Spanish Civil War Project is planning to have an exhibition on the day at the Unite Building and there will also be live music.

Several relatives of north west brigadistas will also be in attendance, with a number of trade union speakers from the Derry Trades Union Council.

The event will begin promptly at 1pm on Saturday March 30.

The local people who fought against the Fascist forces in the War were honoured with the plaque back in 2013. In total 10 people from Derry, 10 from Donegal and four from Tyrone are known to have travelled to join the fight.

The men signed up for the fight against General Francisco Franco after he instigated the Spanish Civil War in July 1936 when he led a military revolt against the left-wing popular front government.

Dr. Emmet O’Connor, a senior lecturer in history at Ulster University, was among those involved in the effort by the North West Spanish Civil War Project and Derry Trades Council to honour the 24 men who served in the International Brigades in defence of the Spanish Republic.

Among those honoured on the plaque from the Derry area are James Campbell, 22 Tyrconnell Street; William McChrystal, 36 Cross Street, Waterside; George F. Gorman from the Long Tower area; Charles McGuinness of Clarence Avenue: Éamonn McGrotty, remembered in Christy Moore’s song Viva la Quinta Brigada, from Marlborough Road; John Murphy, 8 Mountjoy Street; Robert McDonald, James Donald, Jack Flynn and Herbert Pollock, about whom no information is available.

The international brigades were stood down in 1938 and the war was to end on April 1, 1939 and up to one million lives were lost during the conflict.