O’RIORDAN, Michael. Connolly Column. The story of the Irishmen who fought in the ranks of the International Brigades in the national-revolutionary war of the Spanish people 1936-1939. [SIGNED AND INSCRIBED PRESENTATION COPY]


1 in stock

With maps and illustrations. Dublin: New Books, 1979. Quarto. pp. 232. White linen, title in brown on upper cover and spine. Signed and inscribed by Michael O’Riordan, dated January 24th 1989. A very good copy in lightly frayed dust jacket. Scarce.
The chapters include: The Revolt of the Generals; An Earlier Revolt and Civil War in Ireland; Ireland in the Thirties; The International Brigades; The Connolly Column; The Battle of Jarama; From Vinegar Hill to Chimora; The Brunete Offensive; On the Aragon Front; The Battle of Teruel; The Capture of Frank Ryan; The Last Battle; The Leaving of Spain; Release Frank Ryan!; From Burgos to Dresden, etc.
Michael O’Riordan was the founder of the Communist Party of Ireland (3rd) and also fought with the Connolly Column in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. O’Riordan joined the Communist Party of Ireland in 1935 while still in the IRA and worked on the communist newspaper The Irish Workers’ Voice. In 1937, following the urgings of Peadar O’Donnell, several hundred Irishmen, mostly IRA or ex-IRA men, went to fight for the Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War with the XVth International Brigade. They were motivated in part by enmity towards the 800 or so Blueshirts, led by Eoin O’Duffy who went to Spain to fight on the “nationalist” side in the Irish Brigade. O’Riordan accompanied a party led by Frank Ryan. In the Republic’s final offensive of 25 July 1938, O’Riordan carried the flag of Catalonia across the River Ebro. On 1 August, he was severely injured by shrapnel on the Ebro front. He was repatriated to Ireland the following month, after the International Brigades were disbanded. In 1938 O’Riordan was offered an Irish Army Commission by the Irish Free State but chose instead to train IRA units in Cork. As a result of his IRA activities, during the Second World War, or the Emergency as it was known in neutral Ireland, he was interned in the Curragh internment camp from 1939 until 1943 where he was Officer Commanding of the Cork Hut and partook in Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Gaelic League classes as well as publishing Splannc (Irish for “Spark”, named after Lenin’s newspaper). O’Riordan was secretary of the ‘Connolly group’, composed of leftist internees, after his release from internment O’Riordan terminated his IRA membership.[4]


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