Hero who took fight to fascists dies at 92

The Sun, January 24, 2009

THE last Irish fighter to battle fascists in Spain's civil war has died after a short illness - aged 92.

Bob Doyle was born in Dublin in 1916, shortly before the Easter Rising. He joined the IRA in the 1930s after he was battered by Blueshirt thugs who left him with lasting eye damage.

In 1937 he volunteered for the International Brigade and went to Spain. After fighting at Belchite he was captured by Italian fascists on the Aragon front in 1938.

Tortured: He was caged for 11 months in a concentration camp near Burgos. There he was regularly tortured by Spanish guards and interrogated by the German Gestapo - and was once taken out to be shot.

Released as part of a prisoner exchange deal, Doyle enlisted in the British Merchant Navy.

He was a seaman for the duration of the Second World War then he settling in London with his Spanish wife Lola.

Bob was a regular visitor to Ireland and Spain for International Brigade commemorations.

In 1996 he along with all other survivors of the Brigades was offered Spanish citizenship.

His book Brigadista - An Irishman's Fight Against Fascism was published in 2006.

Bob is survived by his sons Bob and Julian, grandchildren and great - grandchildren.

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