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Statement on the death of Manus O’Riordan

Date: Mon 27th Sep, 2021 | 21:50

It is with great sadness that I have heard of the death of Manus O’Riordan. It is a sadness that will be shared by so many of those who have worked for a more equal and inclusive society, and trade unionists in particular.

It was a privilege to have known him and his father, Mick O’Riordan, as friends and campaigners for so many causes, and particularly for their testimony to the bravery of those who served in the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War.

In recent times, Manus had been providing an invaluable service in offering an accurate account of Ireland in the 1930s, including not only the violence of campaigns against left-wing activists and trade unionists, but also of those institutions and voices who saw the emergence of fascism and the rise of Hitler as a source of stability.

It was a privilege to be received by Manus at the opening of the Spanish Civil War memorial, in 2016, in honour of the 2,500 volunteers from Ireland and Britain who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War.

It was typical of Manus and the tradition he represented to offer his skills in the research unit of SIPTU, Ireland’s largest trade union.

I recall with fondness our many conversations over the years, including recently, and his infectious enthusiasm, energy and commitment.

Sabina and I send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam dílis.