7 cyclists who are touring round memorials to the International Brigade will lay a wreath at the Belfast memorial, Thursday 22nd, 9.30am.
The International Brigades Commemoration Committee is proud to co-operate with the cyclists who set off from Edinburgh last Monday (19 September) for a tour of Britain and Ireland to remember the volunteers from the British Isles who joined the legendary International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39.
Organised by the National Clarion Cycling Club 1895 (NCCC), the ride marks the 75th anniversary of the formation of the International Brigades in October 1936 to fight General Franco’s fascist-backed revolt against the Spanish Republic.
Seven cyclists will complete the entire 645-mile itinerary, with others joining them for shorter parts of the route. They will call at International Brigade memorials along the way, where wreaths will be laid and homage paid to the 527 men and women from Britain and
Ireland who were killed in the civil war.
The IBCC is supporting this trip because there are direct links between the 80 local men who volunteered for Spain, of whom 21 died in the anti-fascist struggle, and the Clarion Cyclists. Fred McMahon was one of the 1st local men to go to Spain, where he was captured and held for a while as a POW. Fred had helped establish the local branch of the Clarion Clubs in 1932.
The ride is being supported by the International Brigade Memorial Trust (IBMT) and the International Brigades Commemoration Committee to keep alive the memory of the 2,500 volunteers who left the British Isles to join the fight against fascism in Spain.
“The aim will be to commemorate the volunteers of the International Brigades and highlight the relevance of the anti-fascist struggle today,” says NCCC secretary Charles Jepson who is on the 45 mile cycle.
The cyclists arrive in Larne on Wednesday 21st at 11.30 where they will be joined by local cyclists on the trip to Belfast. On arriving in Belfast the delegation will be met by more local cyclists at the John Hewitt bar in Donegall St, from where they will travel to Belfast City Hall to be met (at the front of the City Hall) by Lord Mayor Niall Ó Donnghaile (SF)
On Thursday morning the Mayor and the delegation will lay wreaths at the Spanish Civil War memorial, Writers’ Square, Donegal St, at 9.30am before moving onto Dublin for the next leg of their commemoration.