Southern members of the Irish Brigade photographed in Dublin prior to embarkation. Back row (left to right): P. McCarthy, Enniskeane; M. O’Connell, Bandon; P. J. Cleary, Limerick (now Rev. Fr. Leander, O.F.M.); C. Horgan, Mallow; J. Roche, Bandon; D. V. Higgins, Ballyhooly (who remained on in Spain after the brigade had returned home and was later killed in action). Middle row: J. Crowley, Dunmanway; Col. P. J. Coughlan, Ballineen (who saw the detachment off at Dublin); C. B. O’Donoghue, Bandon (who supplied this photograph); T. McCarthy, Ballydehob; W. F. McGrath, Cork. Front Row: J. M. Poland, Bandon; G. Kavanagh, Cork; J. McCarthy, Enniskeane (writer of these articles) and J. Manning, Toames.
A few weeks ago, I travelled to Dublin and photographed memorials in Burncourt and Inchicore to members of the International Brigade.
In Bandon earlier this week, I went to the West Cork Heritage Centre and saw some details of members of the Irish Brigade who travelled to Spain to support Franco.
There was a policy among European nations not to get involved in the war – nominally at least as Hitler managed to aid Franco’s uprising. I found it interesting that the International Brigade had to sneak into Spain whereas the Irish Brigade had such a record of their sailing - and that it was considered a 'Crusade'.
"The word came from Maynooth, “support the Nazis”
The men of cloth failed again
When the Bishops blessed the Blueshirts in Dun Laoghaire
As they sailed beneath the swastika to Spain"
This plaque commemorates local volunteers