Brigade Salute

Irish Post 6th Sept. 1986

Achill Island plays host this weekend to an international gathering commemorating the 50th anniversary of the start of the Spanish Civil War. Guests will be present from the United States, Nicaragua, Britain and Germany, as well as from all over Ireland. Present too will be three of the diminishing band of International Brigadiers who fought for the Republic in Spain.

Achill has been chosen as the venue for the commemoration because there, at Dooga, stands the only memorial on Irish soil to an International Brigadier. He was local man – Thomas Patten – one of the 61 Irish International Brigadiers who gave their lives in Spain. Five of them were from Connacht. In addition to Thomas Patten, they were David Walsh from Ballina, Michael Kelly from Ballinasloe, James Meehan from Galway and Joe Kelly from Roscommon.

The commemoration will begin on Saturday at 8.00 pm in the Achill Sound Hotel with the showing of a film about the Spanish Civil War. This will be followed by a social.

The main commemoration takes place on Sunday. Following 10.00 am Mass, the parade, with bands, will assemble and march to the Tomas Patten Memorial. Speakers will include Karl Kormes of Germany who was imprisoned with Frank Ryan in Spain; Michael O’Riordan, an International Brigadier; Bill Alexander, the British commander of the International Brigades; and Alderman Declan Bree, chairman of Sligo County Council.

Afterwards there will be a festival of Irish music and song.

Other articles on Patten

Irish Democrat, September 1984 Monument to Tom Patton

Irish Democrat, [Nov] 1984 Vindication!