by Paddy Murphy Chairman,
The Inistioge George Brown Memorial Committee
Dear Friends and Comrades,
The Spanish Civil War began in 1936 when the Fascist forces led by General Franco attacked the Democratic Republic of Spain. Very soon it was clear that the Fascists were receiving massive support from Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy and that support was urgently needed by the Republican Government if it was to survive.In Ireland, Trade Unions, the Labour Party, Republican Congress, significant numbers of the IRA and the Communist Party rallied and began organising aid and personnel. Among the first to volunteer and to lead the Irish contingent was Frank Ryan and along with him went Kit Conway of Tipperary, Frank Edwards of Waterford and Donal O’Reilly. In all there were eleven men who went from Waterford to Spain to fight Fascism including Jackie Lemon, Peter O'Connor and the three Power brothers (Johnny, Paddy & Willie). Mossie Quinlan from South Parade was killed in action in the Battle of Jarama in February 1937. Peter Daly from Enniscorthy who was Commander of the British Battalion died in action on the Aragon Front in August 1937.Speaking to an Irish Press reporter before going to Spain, Frank Ryan stated that going to Spain was “a demonstration of the sympathy of revolutionary Ireland with the Spanish people in their fight against Fascism. It is also a reply to an intervention of Irish Fascism in the war against the Spanish Republic which, if unchallenged, would remain a disgrace on our people.”The George Brown Commemoration Committee is proud to honour our native son who played a notable part and gave his life in the defence of the Spanish Republic. The lessons of the defeat of the Spanish Republic are still relevant to us today. By honouring George Brown, we are remembering all those men and women who took part in that struggle and all those who over the years since, have continued to fight for the principles and ideals of the Spanish Republic.