Spanish Civil War fighter commemorated in his native Kilkenny
A commemoration was held at Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny, on 27th and 28th June for George Brown who died fighting for the Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil War at the Battle of Brunete in 1937.
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.
Special guests at the weekends events were 95 year old Jack Jones, former General Secretary of the Transport & General Workers Union and one of the leading figures in the British trade union movement for many decades - and of course, a veteran of the Spanish Civil War himself. Also Bob Doyle of Dublin, now the only surviving Irish member of the International Brigades.
The well-attended weekend events included lectures, commemorative displays and a tree planting ceremony at the Olive Grove in Woodstock Gardens where the four Kilkenny men who fought in the Civil War are remembered - Michael Brown (George's brother), Michael Brennan and Sean Dowling.