New biography of Michael O’Riordan

September 27, 2011
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David Granville reviews Michael Quinn’s new biography of Michael O’Riordan, former IRA member, International Brigader and Irish Communist Party leader for over four decades, for the Morning Star:

Quinn’s book, covering the years 1938-1947, spans O’Riordan’s return from Spain – where he had continued the fight against fascism begun in his home city – through to his departure from Cork to take up residence in Dublin. The Connolly Column, O’Riordan’s own account of the Irish who fought with the 15th International Brigade to defend Spain against Franco’s fascist insurgency, remains the definitive account of their participation and a classic of Spanish civil war literature.Yet as Quinn explains, having rejoined the IRA on his return from Spain, “on the party’s instruction,” it wasn’t long before O’Riordan found himself interned in the Curragh camp with other prominent IRA activists as part of the De Valera government’s efforts to curb continued IRA militarism.

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