George Brown Weekend - June 2011

24/06/2011

One of the major events held annually in Inistioge is the George Brown Memorial Weekend.  The event for 2011 will be held over the evening of Friday 24th and the full day of Saturday 25th June.

Fri 24th June

On Friday evening events will commence with a wreath-laying ceremony at 7.15pm by Pádraig Ó Murchú, (Chairperson GBMC).  Please meet at the George Brown Memorial Plaque in St Colmcille’s Cemetery.  Following this, a gathering will be held in St Mary's Church, Inistioge, chaired by Jimmy Kelly, Irish Secretary UNITE trade union and speakers will be Michael D. Higgins TD and a Jose Antonio Gutierrez of the Latin American Solidarity Campaign. There will then be light refreshments and traditional music in Lenehan's pub.

Sat 25th June

Events get underway at 11.00am in St Mary’s Church, Inistioge.  Proceedings will chaired by Jack O’Connor, President SIPTU trade union.  Harry Owens, Spanish Civil War Historian, will speak on the subject of The Catholic Church and the Spanish Civil War.  He will be followed by Ciarán Crossey, who will speak on the subject of  The Republican Congress.

At 1.00pm, activities will move to The Olive Grove – Woodstock Gardens, where there will be a Tree Planting Ceremony, with music performed by The Hatchery Folk. Attendees will be addressed by Manus O’Riordan, Irish Secretary of International Brigade Memorial Trust on the subject "In Defence of Two Republics – Kilkenny’s International Brigaders". 

At 4.00, events return to Inistioge with refreshments at Lenehan’s Pub and a recital by Graiguenamanagh Brass Band.  The weekend will close with a traditional music session in O'Donnells pub, Inistioge.

For further information please contact us at georgebrown.inistioge@gmail.com

Background

The George Brown Memorial Committee was founded in order to honour a local man who gave his life as a member of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War.  George Brown, was born in Inistioge in 1906. Having emigrated to the UK as a child, he spent much of his life in Manchester.  He became a very active trade union organizer and a prominent member of the labour movement in Manchester.

In January 1937, George Brown was one of more than five hundred Volunteers from Britain who went to Spain. He was posted to the front line as a soldier in the Fifteenth International Brigade.  On 7th July 1937, aged just 30, he died in the Battle of Brunette during the defence of Madrid.

The George Brown Memorial Committee 

Since it was established in 2007, The George Brown Memorial Committee has held an annual commemoration to acknowledge the sacrifice made by George Brown, and in recognition of the bravery and integrity of all the men and women who were members of the International Brigades.  This commemoration is held in Inistioge over two days in June each year and features lectures, speakers, memorial events and music, in what has proved to be an
informative and enjoyable event.

In December 2007, our locally-based committee was instrumental in the establishment of an olive grove at Woodstock Gardens and providing a plaque commemorating four Kilkenny men who served in the International Brigade and in the following June a plaque was unveiled in St.Colmcille's graveyard, Inistioge, to the memory of George Brown.  The initial event was attended by Spanish Civil War veterans Bob Doyle and Jack Jones (RIP).  Speakers have included Harry Owens, Spanish Civil War historian, Dr Emmet O'Connor, Senator David Norris, and the Cuban and Palestinian Ambassadors.

Click here for more on the George Brown Memorial Committee

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