International Brigadiers and other anti-fascists of Irish origin

There is an interesting piece by a Belfast researcher which details Belfast people who went out for both sides, see the Quinn article.


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[Key to the sources of the list]

Anti-fascists of Irish origin

There are, to put it mildly, some differences on who would make a list of the Irish involved with the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. There are problems over memory and problems with the records. The real difficulty is who or what is an Irish person! Although not being a football fan, this site list goes on the principle of the Irish and Northern Irish football teams. In other words; those born in Ireland, or of Irish parents/grandparents, no matter where the individual themselves were born. So I have included Irish-Americans, Irish born in England, etc. Having said this, there are probably still errors in this list, but please contact me with corrections.

O'Riordan in his book listed 145 people; this list now exceeds 240. CC 14th March 2000

E-mail me at:

Robert A. Stradling compiled a list for his book, The Irish and the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939.
Published by Mandolin, an imprint of Manchester University Press, and 1999.
ISBN 1901341135, cost £10.95

Additional people have been added by checking the list of Feargal McGarry, in Irish Politics and the Spanish Civil War, ISBN 1859182402, Cork University Press, 1999, £15.95 as well as a number of other sources, all indicated.

Name Born Place Other Details Sources

Anderson Samuel    Banbridge, via Canada    Carmody
Antrim Earl of Antrim Med. Unit Fyrth
Armstrong Robert DT
Bailey Archie 280312 Belfast labourer SA
Barr Victor 131116 Belfast labourer MO, SA
Barrett David Irish FMcG
Barry Paddy Mayo MO
Barry William Dublin d. 1236 MO, IB
Beattie, William Belfast d.0737 MO, NM
Beirne James J Cavan MO
Black William Belfast Carmody
Blake Patrick (Kevin) Dublin British Med. Unit FMcG
Blaney James M Belfast Carmody
Bonar Henry Dublin MO
Bonar Hugh Donegal d. 0237 MO
Bourke J Liverpool-Irish MO
Bourne Ted Carmody
Boyd Joe Belfast Scottish Med. Unit FMcG
Boyle Danny Belfast d. 0237 MO
Boyle Phil Donegal MO, POR
Brady Peter 230514 Cavan MO, SA
Brennan Michael MO
Browne George Kilkenny-Manchester d. 0737 MO
Browne Michael (Blasser) d. FMcG
Burgess Liam Mallow MO, POR
Burke T d. FMcG
Burns Paul A Boston, USA FMcG
Burrows Harold 030416 SA
Byrne Joseph 220413 Dublin metallurgist SA
Byrne Paddy 280399 Dublin sailor MO, SA
Byrne William Manchester-Irish FMcG
Campbell James Derry FMcG
Carroll Jimmy FMcG
Coady Dennis (Dinny) Dublin d.0137 MO
Cochrane Patrick Brit. Med. Unit FMcG
Coleman Charles Cork SA, MO, POR
Coleman John Belfast ALBatt. Carmody
Colling William 170111 Belfast Stradling
Conway Maurice Irish-American Doctor Cronin
Conway Frank Kildare d. 1236 MO
Conway Christopher (Kit) Tipperary d. 0237 MO, IA
Cox Colm Dublin MO, POR
Crampton Vincent Cork? FMcG
Cunningham Jock Scots-Irish Stradling
Curley Pat Dublin MO
Daly Pat Enniscorthy d. 0837, Quinto MO, BA
Davis William Dublin d. 0737 MO, NM
Deegan Frank Liverpool-Irish FMcG
Deegan G d. 0138 BA
Delaney Andrew via USA FMcG
Delaney Jerry FMcG
Digges Alex Dublin MO, OB
Dolan John d. 0237 MO
Donald James b. Derry via Fife Carmody
Donavan Tom Skibereen d. 0338 MO
Donegan Alex NI Scot. Med. Unit FMcG
Donnelly Charles Dungannon d. 0237 MO, BA
Donovan ? Stradling
Dooley Hugh Belfast Carmody
Doran Gerry Dublin MO
Dowling Sean Castlecomer, Kil. MO
Downing Eugene Dublin MO, GK
Doyle Bob 140216 Dublin ship's cook MO, SA
Duff Paddy Dublin LC, MO
Edwards Frank Waterford MO, OB
Fairleigh Robert Dromore Carmody
Falconer William M Belfast Carmody
Finnegan John 180309 Lincoln SA
Flanagan Andrew Roscommon MO
Flanagan Terry Dublin MO, OB
Flynn Jack Derry FMcG, Carmody
Foley Jim Dublin d. 1236 MO
Forcell James 040704 Dublin SA
Fox Tony Dublin d. 1236 MO
Fox WH Dublin d. 0737 MO
Fulton Willie Belfast FMcG
Gilbert Tony captured 0338 IT
Glacken Paddy Donegal d. 0138, Turuel MO
Goff Sean Dublin w.1236 MO, NM
Gorman George Derry d. 0738, Ebro MO
Gould-Verschoyle Brian radio operator FMcG
Green George d.0938 Stradling
Green Dublin d. ? IB
Green Leo Dublin d. 1236 MO
Hall P Co. Down Carmody
Hamill Pat Knappagh, Co Cavan/New York FMcG
Haughey James Lurgan MO, IB
Haydock PC New York POR
Hayes T Dublin MO
Heeney Tom 1920 Galway MO, SA
Henry Bill Belfast d. 0237 MO
Hepburn Robert FMcG
Hillen James Belfast w. 1236 MO, NM
Hilliard Robert M Killarney d. 0237 MO, BA
Holden Dennis Carlow MO
Hourihan Marty Irish-American Stradling
Hunt John Waterford MO
Hunter Hugh Belfast MO
Johnstone John Belfast via London Carmody
Jones Jack Waterford d. 0738, Ebro MO
Keenan Patrick Dublin MO, IA
Keller Fred Irish-American Carroll
Kelly Chris w.0238 SA, IB
Kelly J Toronto POR
Kelly J Roscommon d. 0737 MO
Kelly John Waterford MO
Kelly Michael Ballinasloe d. 0737 MO, SC
Kennedy David 300315 Ballycastle SA
Kenny Steve Belfast MO
Kerr Thomas Belfast d. 0838, Ebro MO
Blake Kevin Dublin POR
Kumpaleyner Elsa 'Hirlandais' SA
Larmour Jim Belfast MO
Laughran William Belfast d. 0737 MO
Leeson George b. Ireland Via England FMcG
Leehane Michael Kilgarvan MO, SA
Lennon John 0407008 Waterford Cook MO, SA
Levitas Maurice 010217 Dublin plumber MO, SA
Levy Dave d. 0237 Stradling
Long Patrick Sarsfield Irish-American FMcG
Lord Bill Belfast FMcG
Loughran Pop Irish-Canadian MO
Lowry Joe Belfast MO, SA
Lynch Thomas Dublin d. 0338 MO
MacAleenan John Down MO
MacLarnon Alan Dublin MO
Magill James/Joseph? Lurgan via Toronto Carmody
Maguire Thomas Irish FMcG
Martin Chris Cork MO
Martin Samuel Belfast via London Carmody
Matthews Charles London-Irish FMcG
May Michael Dublin d. 1236 MO
McAllister Paddy Belfast via Canada FMcG
McBroin Seamus Monks
McCarthy Cormac ? FMcG
McClure George b. Donaghdee via Liverpool Carmody
McCogan Kathleen Irish Fyrth
McDaid Paddy Dublin d. 0237 MO
McElligot Paddy 1905 JG
McElroy Bert Louth d. 0237 MO
McGrath H Belfast d. 0938 BA
McGregor Liam Dublin d. 220938 MO
McGrotty Eamon Derry d. 0237 MO
McGuinness Charles Dublin EO, IA
McGuire Pat NI via Canada FMcG
McKeefrey James J b. Belfast via Glasgow Carmody
McKenna Bernard Manchester-Irish FMcG
McLaughlin Paddy Roe Donegal MO, SC
Mcllroy Paddy Dublin MO
McMahon Fred Belfast Scot.Med.Unit FMcG
McManus Timothy Tottenham-Irish? FMcG
McParland Eugene Irish Stradling
Meehan John Galway d. 1236 MO
Meeke William d.0138 Hopkins
Milne Ewart Dublin medic CC
Monks Joe Dublin MO, NM
Moroney Brendan Ennis CC
Morris Thomas Boston-Irish? FMcG
Mulligan Michael Belfast
Murphy James Cronin
Murphy John Derry via London Carmody
Murphy Paddy/Pat Wales FMcG
Murphy Patrick Belfast Carmody
Murphy Tom 1903 Belfast Carmody
Murray Ben Belfast d. 0338 MO, SA
Murray Joe Antrim d. 0837 MO
Murray Patrick Irish? FMcG
Nalty Jack Dublin d. 220938 MO
Nicholl Arthur Dromard, Leitrim FMcG
Nolan Michael Dublin d. 1236 MO
O'Beirne John 230899 Portumna labourer SA
O'Brien Francis D Dundalk via London MO, SA
O'Brien Thomas T d. 0237 MO
O'Brien Tom Dublin MO
O'Callaghan Brian Dublin DT
O'Connor Peter Waterford MO, SA
O'Daire Paddy Donegal MO, SA
O'Donnell Hugh 1899 Donegal stoker MO, SA
O'Donnell Vincent 190404 Dublaoghaire MO, SA
O'Hanlon Liam 041113 Belfast labourer MO, SA
O'Regan James F Cork MO
O'Reilly Donal Dublin MO
O'Reilly Patrick (John) IA, JG
O'Riordan Michael Cork MO
O'Shea John Joseph 1902 Kilmeadan,Waterford plasterer MO, SA
O'Shea Paddy Irish-Canadian Mac-Pac
O'Sullivan Paddy Dublin d. 0838 MO, IB
O'Flaherty Eddie Boston, USA FMcG
O'Flaherty Frank Boston, USA FMcG
O'Flaherty Charlie Boston, USA FMcG
O'Hara Patrick Belfast,via Margate with POUM Carmody
O'Neill Dick Belfast d. 0237 MO
O'Neill George Newcastle upon Tyne-Irish ? FMcG
O'Neill Stuart (Paddy) Vancouver d. 0737 Mac-Pac
O'Toole Paddy New York Cronin
Patterson Jackie Belfast FMcG
Patton Tommy Achill Madrid militia MO
Penrose Sean Dublin FMcG
Plain David Armagh via Glasgow Carmody
Power Billy Waterford MO
Power Johnny Waterford MO
Power Paddy Waterford MO
Prendergast Jim Dublin Mo
Pyper Robert Ballyclare via Birkenhead Carmody
Quinlan Maurice Waterford d. 0237 MO, BA
Quinn Sidney Lisburn KJ
Reade Pat Irish ALBatt. FMcG
Regan Charles d.0837 MO
Regan Jim Cork MO, SA
Rehill Joseph New York POR
Reid Pat New York MOR
Riordan Johnny London (2nd gen) FMcG
Robinson John Q Belfast MO
Roe M Athlone MO
Russell Michael Ennis d.0237 MO
Ruttledge Ormsby Hannah Dromard West, Sligo d.0538 Papers
Ryan Frank Limerick BA
Ryan Maurice Tipperary executed 0738 MO, BA, KJ
Scanlon Paddy Cork MO
Scott Bill Dublin MO, ER
Sheehan Ray Irish-American MO
Simms John P Tipperary MO
Smith Paddy Dublin MO
Stanley Patrick Dublin MO
Steel A Carrickfergus Carmody
Straney James Belfast d. 0738 MO
Sullivan John ? Basque forces FMcG
Tierney John Limerick missing 0937 MO, SA
Tighe Pat Mayo MO
Traynor Thomas Derry via Toronto Carmody
Trench Patrick Dublin POUM FMcG
Tumilson Liam Belfast d. 0237 MO
Walsh Thomas Dublin d. 0237 BA
Walshe David Ballina d. 0138 MO
Waters Michael Cork MO
Whelan Joe New York POR
White Jack Ballymoney Red Cross/CNT KSL
Woods Tommy Dublin d. 1236 MO
Woulfe Jim Limerick d. 0837 MO

So these combined lists give a potential total for Irish involvement on the Republican side as 244 (see McLaughlin and Blake notes). Having said that, the "Irish" includes those of Irish decent or some of even inclination! CC. 6th February 2000.

These 2 were listed on the original International Brigades memorial banner, but are not Irish.

Samuel Lee London d. Jarama 0237 POR
John Scott S Africa d. Jarama 0237 POR

Jim Brady is listed in Stradlings book, on the basis of the words of the C Moore song. But on rechecking this, see the Peter O'Connor pamphlet that replaces JB with "Jim Straney of the Falls", this makes more sense even if is wrong geographically, JS was from the Short Strand.

Key to sources

BA Bill Alexander British Volunteers
CC Clare Champion 21st December 1979
DT Dublin Tribune 11th October 1990
EO Eoin O’Duffy Crusade
ER Esmond Romilly Boadilla
GK Gustav Klaus Strong Words, Strong Deeds
Hopkins Into the Fire. p268 "had been in Spain since October 1937. He was 28, Irish, and judged an 'incorrigible, useless type.' In his file the commissar noted tersely that Meeke was shot while attempting to escape.

[Info. From Soviet archives. The impression I take from the book is that this death was in Jan, 1938.]

IB International Brigade IB Association Archives, London
IA Irish Archives
IT Irish Times 9th April 1975 and 29th September 1997
JG John Gerassi Premature Antifascists
JM Joe Monks With the Reds in Spain
KJ Kate Johnsson Spanish Collection
KW Keith Watson Single to Spain
LC Limerick Chronicle 27th October 1938
MO Michael O'Riordan Connolly Column
Manus Manus O'Riordan Irish and Jewish volunteers in the Spanish anti-fascist war. 1987
NM National Museum of Labour History
OA RTE Even the Olives are Bleeding
RS Robert Stradling Brother against Brother
SA Spanish Archives
SC Sean Cronin Frank Ryan
SP Sunday Press 29th May 1983


The following Irish names (whose owners may have been Irish born) occur in the Spanish Archives:

British Battalion:
W. Boyce, P. Boyle, F. Butler, R. Burns, W. Byrne, S. Donnell, Doyle, John Gorman, J. Kelly, W. McCartney, G. McDermott, McGrath, John O’Connell, William O’Hanlon, J. O’Hara, Charles O’Neill, Riley, M. Sullivan, Bernard Sweeney, D. Walsh

Lincoln Battalion (0637):
A. Burke, G. Cunningham, J. McGrath, M. McLaughlin (?Charles) O’Neill, M. Moran, J. Nolan, W. Walsh

Lincoln Battalion (0238):
Roe Burke, Vincent Deegan, Bill Donnelly, Joe MacKean, Tom McNulty, Patrick Murphy, Charles O’Barr, Joe O’Brien, Patrick O’Boyle, Paul O’Dell, Walter O’Kane, Tom O’Malley, John O’Sullivan, Larry O’Toole, Joe Walsh

Other XV Brigade Units:
Patrick O’Brien (cook at Albacete) Ernest Mahoney (postal services)

Notes by Charlie Cairns. 21st February 2000


While I need to check this out, I think this Robert Armstrong is possibly mistaken. There was a Robert Armstrong, a Scottish Marxist active in the Revolutionary Socialist Party/Workers International League in Ireland between 1939-1948. He was a member of the International Brigade, and the Communist Party of Great Britain. After he was wounded and returned home, Armstrong became a Trotskyist and moved to Belfast.


The Belfast Telegraph of 30th May 1937 lists some anti-fascists who are being released, included among them is a Jack Flin, aged 29 from Derry.


He died in WW2 while serving on a Norwegian ship in 1942.


This is almost certainly a case of double ledger accounting, see W Laughlin listed above. they are one and the same person.

Additional Note, June 17th, 1999

If you check the Belfast News Letter reports, they give information on the two men who went out to help with Medical Aid, Fred McMahon and Joseph Boyd.

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