January 2016        

Frank Conroy Commemoration

On Saturday 12 December 2015 a very interesting Frank Conroy Commemoration took place in the Liffey Studio, Droichead Nua (Newbridge). Frank Conroy died in 1936 fighting with the 15th International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.
    The commemoration featured a showing of the documentary The Republican Congress, presented by Dónal Fallon and directed by Dónal Higgins. The film tells the story of the political organisation that was founded in 1934 by the left-wing republicans Nora Connolly O’Brien, Roddy Connolly, Frank Ryan, George Gilmore, and Peadar O’Donnell.
    Dónal Higgins said: “I was attracted to the story of the Republican Congress as it seems to me to be a fairly overlooked part of our history. In fairness, the Congress only lasted two years, so it’s not surprising that they’ve been overlooked. But these were the people who went to Spain to defend republican values at a time when the whole country was supporting Franco. I also think that the Congress has some resonances for society today.”
    Paul McCormack entertained the crowd, which included Councillor Réada Cronin. He sang:
Men and women heard the call
and went to fight for good and all,
and in the ranks there standing tall
a young man named Frank Conroy.

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