Bob Doyle - Waterford Today review of his book
Pictured at a book signing in Liberty Hall, Dublin, on Tuesday of last week by Bob Doyle, the last surviving Irish veteran of the Spanish Civil War at the launch of his book, 'Brigadista', which recounts his life and times as a youngster growing up in Dublin and his involvement with the International Brigade in which he was captured and interned in Spain fighting on behalf of the Republican side in the Spanish Civi War. Captured by the Fascists along with Frank Ryan, he spent many months with other Brigadistas including Jackie Lennon, Olaf Street, Waterford, in the monastry of San Pedro, which has been turned into a concentration camp, until eventually they were released as part of a prisoner exchange. Bob enlisted in the British merchant navy during the Second World War and it was in England that he met his SPanish wife' Lola, and in London that he lived nad worked as a printer after the war. He did no forget Spain, nor the fight against Fascism, returning in secret to the country and taking part in the underground anti-Franco resistance. WIth the return of democracy to Spain after Franco's death - and especially after the election of Spain's first socialist government - Bob and other veterans of the International Brigades finally got the recognition they deserved, both in Spain and in their own countries.
The book was launched in Liberty Hall by Michael D Higgins, Labour Party TD and Labour President and spokesperson for Foreign Affairs before an attendance of several hundred.
The book is available in the Book Centre, waterford. Incidentally, one of the main windows at the Book Centre has been displayed with a number of books commemorating the Spanish Civil War.
Pictured above at he launch are from left to right: Deputy Dick Spring, former leader of the Labour Party; Paddy Gallagher, Editor, Waterford Today and a committee member of the Waterford Friends and Relatives of the Spanish Brigadiers; Sean Kelly, ATGWU trade union official and a committe member of the Waterford Friends and Relatives of the Spanish Brigadiers; Bob DOyle, the last surviving Irish volunteer of the Spanish Civil War.
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