by Robert Stradling - £14.99 Manchester University Press (1999)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781901341133 | ISBN 10: 1901341135
The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War threw Irish politics, north and south of the border, into turmoil. Tragic events in Spain aroused emotive responses across the spectrum of Irish society. In contrast to most other communities of the British Isles, citizens of the Irish Free State were mainly pro-Franco. But many on the left felt a strong identification with the plight of the Republic. Ireland sent large organized bodies of men to fight on opposite sides in the Spanish Civil War. The International Brigade volunteers were led by the IRA warrior, Frank Ryan. Their rivals, who became a battalion of Franco's Foreign Legion were mostly members of the semi-facist Blueshirts, and were commanded by the ex-leader of that movement, General Eoin O'Duffy. In late 1936, two enemy crusades - Communist and Catholic - left Ireland to fight it out in Spain. This book, illuminated by personal histories, tells the story of what happened to those two sides. Starting with their eventful journey to Spain, it follows their footsteps across the battlefields of Spain.
(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)