Spanish Civil War fighter and working class activist to be honoured
Commemoration and other events at Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny, Friday and Saturday 27th and 28th June 2008.
George Brown was a member of the XVth International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War who fell at the Battle of Brunete in 1937.
George's parents were both Irish. His father Francis came from Inistioge and his mother Mary Lackey came from Tullogher, both in Co. Kilkenny. His mother Mary returned to her native South Kilkenny in 1906 for the birth of her son George but he grew up mainly in Manchester. He was a trade unionist and working class activist from an early age and was active in the work and hunger marches of the early 1930s. He instinctively opposed the rise of facism and travelled to Spain to fight Franco's fascists as part of the 15th International Brigade. He died in Brunete in 1937 but he continues to be remembered.
Main events of the weekend:-
Friday 27th June @ 8pm - Lecture by Manus O'Riordan (Committee member of the International Brigade Memorial Trust and Head of Research with SIPTU) in St. Mary's Church of Ireland, Inistioge. This will be followed by the launch of a publication on George Brown by Bob Doyle, Ireland's last surviving International Brigade Volunteer.
Saturday 28th June @ 11.30am - Lecture on the Battle for Madrid by Harry Owens (Spanish Civil War Historian) in St. Mary's Church of Ireland, Inistioge.
12.30pm Saturday: Unveiling of George Brown Memorial in St. Mary's Graveyard by Jack Jones, retired General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, Spanis Civil War Veteran, Comrade of George Brown, and Life President of the International Brigade Memorial Trust. Oration by Tony Woodley, General Secretary of T&G / UNITE.
Followed by commemorative event, including tree planting,at the Olive Grove, Woodstock Gardens.
Spanish Civil War Photographic Exhibition - St. Mary's Church of Ireland.
Graiguenamanagh Brass Band will attend at the unveiling and will entertain visitors in teh Square during the afternoon. Social events in Inistioge on Friday and Saturday nights.