Notes towards a list of resources on
Ireland and the Spanish Civil war

This list is compiled from various books, articles and other material I've seen over the years. Just because it's listed here, does not mean I've read (or agree with) it. Hopefully you will find it useful in tracking down any material you think may be of use in your research. If you do locate additional material of interest to this subject, Irish involvement in the Spanish civil war, please e-mail me with the details so it can be added to this list. Salud!. E-mail address:

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Primary documents

New item, 1st November 1999

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Moscow Archives

Emmet O'Connor and Barry McLoughlin, writing in Saothar, the journal of the Irish Labour History Society, Vol. 21 (1996), reveal the extent of Soviet sources on Ireland and the Communist international, 1920-1943, a portion of which deals with the SCW.



"Efforts to locate the Spanish cadre documents on Irish volunteers were only partially successful; the Irish did not serve as a separate, officially recognised national unit, but were divided up between the British, US and Canadian battalions; the material is therefore widely dispersed in the following files of opus 545/6: Ireland, 439-445; England, 87-218; Canada, 534-576; USA, 884-1019. The documentation found consists, in the main, of the battle-record, party 'Kharakteristiki', and summarised political biographies of XV Brigade members such as Tom O'Brien, Paddy Duff, Jack Nalty, Liam McGregor, Paddy O'Daire and Johnny Power."



Imperial War Museum (London)

Sound recording of Maurice Levine recollections. 9722/6

Linen Hall Library

Belfast Trades Council and Executive Committee minutes 1936-1939. See the page on this site, Labour responses

These contain some references to solidarity activity in Belfast, public meetings, etc.

Eoin MacNamee. Unpublished memoirs, extracts are in the LHL.

These memoirs of an active republican contain a few passing references to the IRA banning members from going to Spain during the SCW. it also refers to Jack White selling pamphlets at republican meetings in London during that period.


Marx Memorial Library

Paul Burns. Letter to Manus O’Riordan about Frank Edwards and the Connolly Column. Box A-12:Ed/2.

International Brigade Association documents. They include correspondence with Irish survivors. See also Tom Jones, Paul Burns and other primary documents listed here.

Tom Jones. Major Frank Ryan. Adjutant of the 15th International Brigade of the Spanish Republican Army. Captured by Spanish fascists in 1938. Sentenced to death. Died in Germany, Irish patriot and socialist. Some recollections of conversations with him during our internment at de Burgos Penitentiary and suggestions as to how he escaped and later dies in Germany. North Wales, 1995.

A copy of this hand-written document is with the Marx Memorial Library.

Peter O’Connor. For the record, some personal recollections. Manuscript in Marx Memorial Library [Box. A-12: File O’C1]

Peter O’Connor. Peadar O’Donnell. Manuscript in Marx Memorial Library [Box. A-12: File O’C3]

Manus O’Riordan. Portrait of and Irish anti-fascist. Frank Edwards 1907-1983. An appreciation. Manuscript in Marx Memorial Library [Box. A-12: ] This was later reprinted by the Labour History Workshop, Dublin, 1984.


National Library of Ireland

Eugene Downing. 12 items relating to the Spanish Civil war and the International Brigades. National Library of Ireland, Dublin. SD10


Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI)

1. Sean Cunningham. Personal papers

BD.1625/19 (the PRONI Reference system, see below for other shelf numbers) is a booklet commemorating the "Irish Brigade Crusade Against Communism". It lists 8 officers, 33 men and 1 priest. Of them, 5 are from Northern Ireland. Sean Cunningham, John Cleary, Patrick Ward and Joseph McKenna from Belfast, with Brendan Kielty from Greencastle, a village on the northern outskirts of Belfast.

D.1625.26 is a brief obituary from the Irish News, 11/3/63, which states that Cunningham had been "personally complimented by Gen. Franco on 1 occasion".

2. Seamus MacCall. "The time I didn’t broadcast."

Memoirs of his role in the International Commission for Non-Intervention. D/2455/2

3. Newry Labour Party.

Minute book. D.3929/4/1 See the labour responses page on this site.


4. Midgley Papers

These are lodged in PRONI.



5. McGarry mentions Files of interest in the Home Affairs office archives relevant to the SCW. I have not yet had time to check these out, but feel free to go ahead and let me know what you find.     CC

McGarry  mentions that the files contain some references to the these organisations/events, etc.

SPNI                                            32/1/554

ICF meeting                            32/1/555

CPI speech                                    32/1/556

CP meetings                            32/1/558

CP meeting                            32/1/559

ICF/Prot.League at CPI meeting   32/1/560

Jack White                            32/1/608

Blueshirts                                    32/1/615

ICF                                            32/1/637



K.S. Armstrong. The Spanish Civil War and its impact on Ireland, 1936-39. New University of Ulster, 1984

Doiminic Bell. Irish Aspects of the Spanish Civil War. University of Ulster. 1996

Ciaran P Crossey, Irish reactions to the Spanish Civil War. Queens University Belfast, 1979

Estelle Feldman, Irish Catholic opinion and its reaction to the Spanish Civil War, Dublin 1970

John Fitzsimmons Harbinson, History of the Northern Ireland Labour Party 1891-1949. Queens University Belfast (QUB), 1966

Christopher Magee, The Republican Left and the Spanish Civil War. QUB, 1995

Ray Ryan. From the roads of Ballyseedy to the olive groves of Jarama: The historical and political reasons why Irishmen fought for the Spanish Republic between 1936 and 1938.1994 [Check for source]


Books (inc. chapters of books)/Pamphlets

Ballymacarrett Research Group

Lagan enclave. A history of conflict in the Short Strand, 1886-1997.

J Bowyer Bell. Ireland and the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939.

Cont. in HG Klaus, Strong words, brave deeds.

Paddy Byrne. The Irish Republican Congress revisited. Connolly Publications Ltd, London, 1994.

Dennis Carroll’s They have fooled you again: Michael O’Flannagan (1887-1942). Blackrock: Columba Press,1993.

Chalmers (Terry) Trench. Nearly Ninety.

Sean Cronin. Frank Ryan - The search for the republic. Dublin: Repsol, 1980

Patrick Galvin Song for a poor boy. A Cork childhood (p25-26). Dublin: Raven Arts Press

George Gilmore. The Irish Republican Congress. Cork Workers Club, Cork, 1978.

International solidarity with the Spanish Republic 1936-1939. Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1976

D Keogh. Ireland and the popular fronts 1936-1939, contained in Ireland and Europe, 1919-1948. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1988

D Keogh. The Vatican, the bishops and Irish politics 1919-39. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1986.

H Gustav Klaus Strong words brave deeds: the poetry, life and times of Thomas O’Brien, volunteer in the (ed.) Spanish Civil War. Dublin: O’Brien Press, 1994

Michael McInnerny. Peadar O’Donnell: Irish social rebel. O’Brien Press, Dublin 1974.

Maurice Manning. The Blueshirts, 1970. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1987

Mike Milotte. The Spanish Civil War in "Communism in modern Ireland: The pursuit of the Workers Republic since 1916". Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1984

Sean Nolan. Communist Party of Ireland - Outline history. New Books, Dublin, 1975

Uinseann Mac Eoin. The IRA in the twilight years 1923-1948. Argenta Publications, Dublin 1997.

Uinseann Mac Eoin. Survivors: the story of Ireland's struggle as told through some of her outstanding living people recalling events from the days of Davitt through James Connolly, Brugha, Collins, Liam Mellows and Rory O’Connor to the present day. Dublin: Argenta Publications, 1980.

Seosamh O Cuineaghan Saga of the Irish Brigade to Spain 1936. Enniscorthy, 1976

Manus O’Riordan Irish and Jewish volunteers in the Spanish Anti-fascist War. A 50th Anniversary lecture and record recital. [This is in the Marx Memorial Library, Box A-14: D/3]

G S Walker The politics of frustration: Harry Midgley and the failure of Labour in Northern Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1985.

Books/pamphlets by or about Irish participants

Belfast Executive Republican Clubs. No Pasaran!, Belfast 1975

Seamus McKee I was a Franco soldier. Methuen and Co. Ltd, London, 1937

Harry Midgley Spain, the press, the pulpit and the truth. Belfast 1936

Ewart Milne Drums without end. Portee, Aquila, 1986

Joe Monks. With the Reds in Andalusia. Joe Monks, London, 1985

Jim O’Connor. Even the olives are bleeding. The life and times of Charles Donnelly. Dublin: New Island Books,1992

Peter O’Connor. A soldier of liberty. Recollections of a socialist and anti-fascist fighter. Dublin: MSF, 1996

Peadar O’Donnell. Salud! An Irishman in Spain. London: Methuen, 1937

Eoin O’Duffy Crusade in Spain, Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1938

Michael O’Riordan The Connolly Column, New Books, Dublin, 1979

Jack R White. A rebel in Barcelona. Jack White’s first Spanish impressions. KSL, Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library, 3/1998, No 14.

Jack R White. The meaning of anarchism. Theory illuminated by recent practice in Spain. London Freedom Group, London, [1938]

Newspaper and journal articles

Brendan Anderson. Spanish Civil War veterans ‘vindicated’ after 60 years. 6th Dec. 1996. About a public meeting addressed by M O’Riordan in Belfast.

Andersonstown News. Connolly Column enters Moscow. 9th May 1987, p4.

Report on visit to Moscow by M O’Riordan for the publication of Connolly Column in Russian. The first print run was of 60,000 copies.

J Bowyer Bell. Ireland and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Studia Hibernica, Vol. 9, p137-163

L Callender. Franco and the Irish News. Irish Communist, No 61, Jan. 1971, p1-4

Catherine Cleary. Mayor hosts reception for Spanish war veterans. Irish Times, 15th Feb. 1997 A reception for the Brigadiers.

Mike Cronin. The Blueshirt movement, 1932-5: Ireland’s Fascists? Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 30 (1995), p311-332.

Ciaran Dowd. An Phoblacht, 14th June 1980. Review of Connolly Column. P7

P Gallagher. Homage to heroes. Sunday Tribune magazine, 25 Feb. 1996, p6-8

H Gustav Klaus. "The sore frailty of this lasting cause": some Celtic versions of Spanish Civil War poetry. Irish University Review, Vol 21 (2) Autumn/Winter 1991, p268-284

R Higgins. Fighting for a Republic: the response of the Irish press to the Spanish Civil War. [unpublished proof copy held by the Linen Hall Library]

Library Committee of Clergy of Connor from Patrician times to the present day. Ulster Historical the Dioceses of Down, Foundation, Belfast, 1993. This has a paragraph on the Rev. Robert Hilliard, Connor and Dromore. who died in the Int. Brigade.

Irish Post, Faithful to the fallen. On Bob Doyle’s experiences in the International Brigades. 16th Oct. 1993.

Irish Worker’s Voice. An anti-fascist dies. Communist Party of Ireland, Dublin, 18th Jan. 1988. Obituary for Joe Monks.

Patsy McGarry Old soldier remembers young Cork docker. Irish Times, 9th Feb. 1996

Michael O’Riordan. Interview with Anti-Fascist Action in Fighting Talk, supplement, Issue 15 (Winter 1996). London, 1996.

Peter Payne. David and Goliath. Barcelona’s homage to the International Brigades. Labour History News, No. 5 (Autumn 1989), p12. Irish delegation to Barcelona for the unveiling of a memorial to the International Brigadiers.

John Quinn. Spanish comrades. Causeway magazine, Spring 1998, p54-55

Journal of the Cultural Traditions Group, Belfast.

Robert Stradling. Franco’s Irish volunteers. History Today, March 1995, p40-47. See also the October 1995 edition, p58-9 for correspondence about this piece.

Robert A Stradling. A war of ideas? Irish volunteers in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Westport Historical Society journal, Cathir na Mart, No. 15, 1995, p110-118.

William Tierney. Irish writers and the Spanish Civil War. Eire/Ireland, vol. 7 (3), 1972

Times. Ewart Milne, obituary, 17th January 1987

Unity. [Paper of the Communist Party of Ireland]

Vindication of the Brigadistas. 7th Dec. 1996.

About the 60th Anniversary trip back to Spain.

Unity. 60th anniversary of the Spanish civil war. 14th Dec. 1996. About a Belfast public meeting on the SCW.

Paddy Woodworth. An Irishman’s diary. Irish Times, 16th Dec. 1996

Dublin Council of Trade Unions honour the International Brigades.

Interesting material

Hugh D Ford A Poet’s war: British poets and the Spanish Civil War. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1965. There are a number of references to Irish involvement.

Jim Fryth The Signal was Spain. Lawrence and Wishart, London 1986

Joint letter by the Spanish Bishops to the Bishops of the whole world concerning the war in Spain. Catholic Truth Society, London, 1938

Marquis de Merry del Val. The conflict in Spain. Communist's mis-statements refuted. Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937

Jack R White, Capt. Where Casement would have stood today. London 1936

Memorials, plaques, etc. to the participants

Kenmare, Co. Kerry. Plaque to Mick Lehane at Morley’s Bridge. This was unveiled by Michael O’Riordan, 7th May 1989

List initially compiled, 20th May 1999


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