Date Released: 14 October 2016
The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, will open the annual general meeting of the International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) in Liberty Hall, Dublin 1, tomorrow (Saturday, 15th October).
The opening of the, delegate-only, meeting will be preceded by a wreath-laying ceremony at the James Connolly monument on Eden Quay at 2.00 p.m.
The IBMT Ireland Secretary, Manus O’Riordan, whose father, Michael O’Riordan served in the International Brigade during the Spanish Civil War, said: “It is a great honour for the IBMT to have President Higgins formally open the proceedings of the annual general meeting.
“Some 275 Irish men and women joined the International Brigades and associated medical services during the Spanish Civil War. Seventy-five of them were killed in the fight to try and stop General Franco’s fascist-backed rebels from toppling the elected government of the Spanish Republic.”
He added: “Ireland should rightly be proud of these volunteers who fought against fascism and for social justice. Acknowledgement of their sacrifice and inspirational role in the war in Spain was a long time coming, but in recent years it has been heartening to see greater public awareness and official recognition of the Irish volunteers.”
The London-based IBMT keeps alive the memory and spirit of the 2,500 volunteers from Britain and Ireland who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War, of whom 526 died in Spain.
IBMT Secretary Jim Jump, also the son of a Brigader, said: “I hope the AGM will provide an opportunity for Dubliners to celebrate this important part of their heritage. It is fitting that we are holding our 2016 AGM in Dublin, in this centenary year of the Easter Rising, which spawned a generation of Irish Republicans and socialists who played a proud role in Spain’s anti-fascist war.”
On Saturday evening, the IBMT is hosting a fundraising evening of music, poetry and song in the Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square, Dublin 1.