Around 100 people participated in the unveiling of a monument to International Brigader Peter Daly in Monageer, County Wexford last Saturday [September 3].
Peter Daly was born on 27 September 1903 in Liverpool to Irish parents. The family later returned to Ireland and Peter attended national school in Monageer. As a youth he was an active member of Fianna Éireann, and then the IRA.
Peter took the republican side in the Civil War, and like many others was forced to emigrate in the aftermath of the victory of the counter-revolution. He found some work in London before joining the British army, which he quickly deserted when it was revealed that he had used his position to smuggle weapons to the IRA.
He returned to Ireland and immersed himself in republican politics again, joining the Republican Congress when it was established in 1934. He continued his work with the Congress after going back to London, and it was while here that Franco’s forces began their attempt to overthrow the Spanish Republic.
Peter quickly volunteered for the International Brigades and travelled to Spain to fight fascism. He took part in several battles, but was badly wounded in Quinto during the Battle of Belchite and died on 5 September 1937.
The event commemorating Peter Daly was addressed by Spanish Civil War historian Harry Owens and Cuban ambassador to Ireland Teresita Trujillo, who unveiled the memorial stone. La Pasionaria Dolores Ibárruri’s Farewell to the International Brigades was read in Spanish and English, and then wreaths were laid at the monument by the Peter Daly Society, George Brown Commemoration Committee (Kilkenny), Friends of Charlie Donnelly (Tyrone), Anti-Fascist Action, the Independent Workers Union, Unite, and several political parties including éirígí.
In her address, Trujillo spoke of the Cuban volunteers who fought in Spain, and of the long links of solidarity between the peoples of Cuba and Ireland. She spoke of Peter Daly and his comrades as eternal examples of international solidarity who continue to inspire us today.
Peter Daly lived and died an Irish socialist republican, and his example does continue to inspire us in the ongoing struggle against fascism, capitalism and imperialism. Salud!
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