Australian Irish Republican History Project
‘Barry is dead. we clench our fists who know
He died for freedom on the fields of Spain.
His grave among those ancient hills will show
Eureka’s spirit lives and burns again.’
Second from right in front of the banner is Melbourne based Dubliner Jack William ‘Blue’ Barry who fell in action against the fascists at Boadilla 1936.
One of the first Irish into Spain, 47 year old Jack (Blue) Barry was a sailor and a member of the Communist Party. Although born in Dublin he had lived in Melbourne, Australia and it was from there that he travelled to Spain, arriving August 1936. He was initially in the Tom Mann Centuria in Barcelona during September. He transferred to the English Section, Commune de Paris, Batt. X1, Int. Brigade, Madrid Sector, Nov-Dec. 1936. There is some confusion over this units name as it is thought that it was actually called the Doumont Battalion after it’s commanding officer.
Barry was killed at Boadilla del Monte in December 1936. So he was one of the first Irish Diaspora to arrive, and die, in Spain.
Barry was not the only Australian to pay the ultimate price in defense of the Spanish Republic:
Ted Dickinson 13/02/1937
Harry Hynes 1937
Jack Newman Feb 1937
Percival Butler Feb 1937
James Stewart Feb 1937
John Burgess Feb 1937
Jack Kent (New Zealand) 31/05/1937
Jack Stevens July 1937
Ralph Baynham 1938
Cormac McCarthy 1938
John William Young July 1938
William Arthur Morcom Sep 1938
Kevin Rebbecchi Jan 1939
‘We will not forget their names
those that did their bit for Spain
Viva los Brigadistas!’
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- Hands of History Donegal~Irish Diaspora Conference (donegalcouncilblog.wordpress.com)
- Diaspora matters (irishtimes.com)