Irish coda to the Córdoba trip

Post date: 30/04/2016

Pauline Fraser writes…

I’ve always loved Irish music, but never more so than on our recent commemorative visit to Andalusia. A group of musicians, the Armagh Rhymers, accompanied FIBI, the Friends of the International Brigades in Ireland, on the recent commemorations around Córdoba (on 8/9 April).

FIBI organised an entire coachload of members to pay tribute to the 15 Irish volunteers, led by Frank Ryan, who went to Spain in early December 1936. Nine of them were killed at Lopera. 

FIBI presented the mayor of Lopera with a plaque listing the names of the nine who died. The council will be erecting the plaque later in a suitable location. 

The musicians were indefatigable. They played in Belalcázar and in Valsequillo. Their finest moment came after lunch in the square at Granjuela, when they drowned out the songs an unreconstructed Falangist was blaring out of an open window to provoke us. We danced joyfully, in the true spirit of humanity, listening only to our musicians. 

And when they weren’t playing, others were singing. The FIBI coach was full of song. I envied them. The musicians played at night in an orange-blossom scented square in Córdoba, when we were too exhausted to dance. Manus and Brenda O’Riordan (Manus is the IBMT’s Ireland Secretary) both inspired and entertained us, and many others got up to make impromptu contributions on that last evening.  

Photos by Oscar Rodriguez and Pauline Fraser

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