Confusing facts on Spanish Civil War

May I be permitted a few observations on the letter by Paddy Sleeman (Jun 26) in response to mine in which I recalled the 75th. anniversary of the return of the nationalist Irish Brigade from Spain.

After a promisingly objective opening I’m afraid Mr Sleeman drifts too easily into shrill condemnations and assertions of certainty as to who was ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in this most tragic civil war. I called for no ‘celebration’ in my letter as he suggests, merely that the men of the Irish Brigade be remembered no differently from others of conscience who left this shore.

Mr Sleeman is not so minded and makes a rather disproportionate comparison between the 16 priests killed by Franco forces after the taking of the Basque country, and the 7,000 killed by communist/anarchists during the period of the much-vaunted ‘democratic’ republic in 1935/6, which triggered the nationalist revolt and caused such understandable feeling in Ireland at the time.

Certainly the retributions by Franco after the end of the war were severe — but can it be seriously suggested that it would have been any different had the Russian-sponsored Communist International (COMINTERN) prevailed .... perhaps a look to Stalin’s Russia in the ’50s might enlighten!

Ted Neville


Co Cork

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