From Unity, 22 October 2005

1936–39: The fight continues

The annual general meeting of the International Brigade Memorial Trust took place in Dublin last weekend. Just before the AGM a wreath-laying ceremony was held, with the veteran brigaders James Larkin (Jack) Jones, Michael O’Riordan, Jack Edwards and Bob Doyle present for the occasion. The event was a short but moving tribute to those who had fought against fascism in Spain from 1936 to 1939.
     A memorial plaque is on the wall outside Liberty Hall. Manus O’Riordan chaired the event, and Jack Jones—born in Liverpool in 1913—said that it is more important than ever to salute the memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in the war and also to remember those who have passed away since. No better place than Liberty Hall to hold such an event. Bob Hilliard’s daughter laid the wreath of red, yellow and purple flowers. Adding to the emotional feelings of the gathering, Christy Moore sang the song “Viva la Quince Brigada,” the words of which he acknowledges came from Michael O’Riordan’s book The Connolly Column.
     The actual AGM was a relatively informal but organised affair that dealt with the work of the IBMT over the past year. Of particular success was the July meeting in the Jubilee Gardens, where John Pilger delivered a speech “Fighting fascism, now and then.” Work for the recognition of the seventieth anniversary is under way, and future meetings were spoken about, including a special event that will be held at the South Yorkshire Festival at Wortley Hall, Sheffield, on the first Saturday in July 2006 (International Co-op Day), when it is hoped to have guest speakers and an exhibition and the inauguration of a new memorial in the grounds of Wortley Hall, known as “the workers’ stately home.”
     People were urged to join the IBMT, to give support and recognition to the continuous fight against fascism.
     Members of the International Brigade Committee in Belfast were made welcome to the AGM, noting that a memorial will be established in Belfast in 2006.
     Some people will be crossing the Pyrenees on 14–17 April next year as part of a planned commemoration event.
     People travelled from England, Wales and Scotland to be at the AGM. In the evening a social event took place in Liberty Hall. Amongst other things recognition was given to the work done by Michael O’Riordan for Cuba, and he was presented with a medal by the Cuban ambassador, Teresita Trujillo, on behalf of Fidel Castro and the Cuban people.
     On Sunday a tour of Glasnevin Cemetery took place, and Manus O’Riordan gave a speech in honour of the recognition of and continuous need for working-class solidarity.
     The next IBMT AGM will be held in the Town Hall, Manchester, on 14 October. Anyone interested in helping with the event or going to it can contact Dolores Long at .

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