The Irish Dead: Fighting Fascism in Spain, 1937
Date Written: 2017-05-25
Publisher: Counter Punch
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20844
In the springtime of 1937, Spain was in the grip of civil war which flared as intense and as hot as the sun that hung over its skies. Of the many different nationalities that went to Spain to help the Republicans defeat the fascists, it was the Irish who proved to be a dominant force, but death stalked the men from the emerald isle and many of them did not see the end of that intensely hot Summer.
Hugh Bonnar was born in Donegal in 1907, the son of an agricultural labourer. Hugh would not follow in his father's occupational footsteps and instead found employment away from the land as a plasterer. Bonnar's left-wing convictions would see him abandon his trade and join many of his fellow countrymen in the fight against fascism in Spain in 1937.
Upon arrival in Spain in January '37 Bonnar ascended the rank of platoon leader in the famed Lincoln battalion. Unfortunately, Bonnar would meet his end during the Battle of Jarma and fell under a barrage of bullets on the forth day of April 1937.
As spring traded itself in for summer, the lives of more Irishmen would be lost in the fight against the fascist forces of General Franco.