Address by Severiano Montero

Dear Friends:

I come from Spain, the land where Kit lies. Why does he rest there and not here, in his country? I believe because of his personal decision. I explain it in short.

He wanted to go to Spain to fight the rising Fascism; he wanted to help the Spanish people to defend the republican democracy and, last but not least, he wanted to fight for social justice, in favour of poor people traditionally oppressed by upper classes and landed gentry.

He knew the risks of that decision. Before leaving Ireland he said: "Sooner than Franco's forces should win, I would leave my body to manure the Spanish fields". And so it happened.

* He fought like a brave soldier in Cordoba, Madrid and in the Jarama valley.

* He led his comrades in the battle as an intelligent and human leader.

* He gave example to his men of how to behave in the most critical situation.

He died like a hero. When he was mortally wounded, with a terrible pain in his face and in his head, he forgot himself and gave his last message: "Do your best, boys. Hold on!" How to forget this example!

Tipperary is far from Madrid. I think that thanks to men as Kit, Bob, Mick, and more than 200 Irishmen who went to Spain to fight Fascism, Ireland and Spain are closer. This soil I took last Thursday from the site where Kit died, at the Suicide Hill, symbolizes the link for freedom between both Irish and Spanish people. I will spread it beside this monument.

Other speeches/reports of the memorial's unveiling
Opening comment and report by Manus O'Riordan
Speech by Mick O'Riordan
Comments by Bob Doyle
Words of song by Manus O'Riordan