Death of International Brigader Mick O’Riordan in Dublin

The death has taken place in Dublin of Michael O’Riordan, late of Victoria Street, Dublin, and Pope’s Quay, Cork former General Secretary of the Irish Communist Party and a frequent visitor to Waterford over the past number of years.

Mr. O’Riordan unveiled a memorial in front of the Bishop’s Palace, Waterford to the memory of the 11 Waterford volunteers who fought in defence of the Spanish republic during the Spanish civil war, in July 2004. He was accompanied by fellow International Brigaders, Jack Jones, UK and Moe Fishman, USA.

Mick O’Riordan was a lifelong friend of the late Peter O’Connor, Parnell Street a fellow International Brigader and was a frequent visitor to Waterford. He worked closely with the Waterford Committee headed up by trade union leader Sean Kelly and former Mayor Seamus Ryan, a grandson of Peter O’Connor, and his son Manus, research officer with ICTU to set up a local committee which resulted in the unveiling of a monument on one of Waterford’s principal thoroughfares to the memory of the 11 Waterford volunteers. At the unveiling ceremony Mick O’Riordan gave an impassioned speech to an audience of about 400 as he recounted the sacrifices made by the eleven Waterford men who fought in defence of the Spanish Republic.

Michael O’Riordan was born in Cork on November 12, 1917. In 1940=43 he was a Republican political prisoner in the Curragh Internment Camp where he edited a clandestine anti-fascist journal ‘An Splannc. In 1944 he was founding secretary of the Liam Mellows branch of the Irish Labour Party. In 1945 he was founding secretary of the Cork Socialist Party. In 1947 he was founding secretary of the Irish Workers’ League and General Secretary thereafter, and of its successor organisation The Irish Workers’ Party from 1962-70. From 1970-1983 he was General Secretary of the reunited Communist Party of Ireland. From 1983-88 he was National Chairman of the CPI. In 1966 he was made an honorary citizen of Spain. He was author of the Connolly Column 1979, 2nd edition 2005.

The Waterford Committee of the relatives and friends of the International Brigaders were represented at his cremation in Glasnevin cemetery on Saturday last by Sean Kelly, Tom and Teena Casey; Walter Cullen; Jimmy Kelly and Paddy Gallagher.

Former Mayor of Waterford Seamus Ryan pays tribute to the late Michael O’Riordan.

"I was very saddened to hear of the death of Michael O’Riordan and I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my sympathies to the O’Riordan family. Michael was a veteran of the fight against Fascism in Europe and joined the International Brigades in Spain when the Spanish fascist revolt broke out in June 1936.

"I had the honour of meeting Michael on a number of occasions in particular in 2004 when I was Mayor of Waterford Michael was special guest at the unveiling of the memorial for those Waterford men who fought against Franco and Fascism in the Spanish Civil War. Michael remained committed to the cause of Socialism and to the fight against Fascism.

"In his latter years Michael toured the country speaking and educating a new generation to the dangers of Fascism. Michael will be sadly missed by his family and by his comrades here in Waterford, in Ireland and around the world".

Waterford Today online accessed, 28/5/6

More obituaries, etc. for Mick O'Riordan.