Daily Mail, Irish Edition, Jan. 24th, 2009

Comment: Our brave warriors

They included in their ranks a Christian Brother, a Church of Ireland clergyman, Communists, Republicans, Unionists and Bob Doyle. Doyle was the last of the Irish Brigadistas, the 80 young Irishmen who in 1936 volunteered to join the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.

It took enormous courage. They defied the Catholic Church, which gave its blessing to Franco's Irish volunteers, and the Government of the day, which had declared participation in the war illegal.

Some died in Spain. The luckier ones, like Doyle, came home. Those who sneer at Irish neutrality would do well to remember that, when the chips are down, there have always been Irishmen prepared to fight the forces of evil. And please God there always will be.

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