12th Annual George Brown Memorial Event
Good fortune smiled on Inistioge again this year as the eleventh annual commemoration of the ultimate sacrifice paid by local man George Brown in the Spanish Civil War was marked on the last weekend of June. Visitors and locals alike enjoyed the fabulous summer weather and took part in the various activities connected with the commemoration.
The commemoration began on Friday evening with the laying of a wreath at the George Brown plaque in St Colmcille’s Graveyard. The wreath was laid this year by committee-member, Mick Wright.
On Saturday there was an exhibition of postal art connected with the Spanish Civil War, researched and assembled by Terry Bannon. This was followed with a talk by historian Harry Owens on the period of repression in Franco Spain. Afterwards a wreath was laid by Shay Caffrey at the Olive Grove in Woodstock Gardens. This grove is dedicated to Kilkenny men who enlisted in the International Brigades. Amanda Richards, the committee’s PRO recited the moving address of ‘La Passionaria’ to the members of the International Brigades on their departure from Spain in 1939, and this was followed by the anonymously penned poem to George Brown which was delivered by Fiona Walsh, daughter of Seán Walsh, a founder-member of the Inistioge George Brown Committee. Micil Murphy, son of another founder-member Pádraig Ó Murchú, planted the customary tree in the Gardens. It was back then to Inistioge where all were entertained by a local group of line dancers, followed by an impressiverecital by the Graiguenamanagh Brass Band from the Millennium Gardens, with wonderful fare on offer from the Otter Bar just across the road.
During the previous two years local man Michael Tennyson has conducted tours of Woodstock on the Sunday morning. This year he concentrated on the village of Inistioge and brought his group on a revealing history trail, starting at St Colmcille’s Well and finishing at the bridge.