Mick O’Riordan

This column is sad to hear of the death of Mick O’Riordan. Mick was a long-time political activist. He was born in the west Cork Gaeltacht of Gouganbarra in 1917.

He joined the Fianna and the IRA in Cork city and went on to be a member of the Republican Congress.

Mick was a strong Gaelgeoir. He joined the Communist Party of Ireland in 1935 while still in the IRA, and in 1936 he went to fight fascism in Spain with the fifteenth International Brigade.

He saw action on all fronts and was wounded at Ebro. In 1938 he was offered an Army Commission by the Irish Free State but declined. He was interned in the Curragh from 1939 to 43.

His associates included Maírtín Ó Cadhain. On his release Mick and his wife Kay were active in radical politics in Cork and in Dublin where later they went to live.

In the ‘60s he was a leading figure in the Dublin Housing Action Committee, where this column first met his acquaintance. Mick was an internationalist and active on many solidarity campaigns.

He was instrumental in organising the removal of his friend Frank Ryan’s remains from Germany to Ireland at the end of the 1970s. Mick was chairperson of the Communist Party of Ireland. This column extends solidarity to the O’Riordan family.

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