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Growing up, I heard stories of Liam Tumilson—my ancestor who left Belfast to fight fascism in Spain

A working-class activist, Tumlinson was part of the "Connolly Column" who left to fight in the International Brigades. But for our family, his story was also personal—and a political inspiration

By Stephen Donnan-Dalzell  

Liam Tumlinson went to Spain to fight in the Connolly Column. Photo: Wikimedia/Prospect composite

This is an article I’ve been wanting to write for some time now. It’s about the Spanish Civil War, and about the brave men of the Connolly Column who left the North of Ireland to fight side by side with comrades from all over the world in the International Brigades. These were organised battalions of volunteers from Communist and Socialist movements from across the world that came to Spain to fight for the Republic. Men from the UK, Ireland, Greece, the USA and Canada, and even Germany and Italy arrived in their thousands to bolster the ranks of the Second…

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