Michael O'Riordan was born in Cork in 1917. He joined the IRA as a young man and confronted Blueshirt fascism in his native city. In 1938 he continued his anti-fascist struggle in the ranks of the 15th International Brigade in the Spanish Anti-Fascist War, where he was wounded at the Battle of the Ebro. On his return to Ireland he was interned by the government for three-and-a-half years in the Curragh Internment Camp. On moving to Dublin he became secretary of the Irish Workers' League and later the Irish Workers' Party, precursors of the present-day Communist Party of Ireland. He was general secretary of the party until his retirement in 1983 and national chairperson until 1988. He died in 2006.
This publication is a part-biography of Michael O'Riordan from 1938 to 1947. Its central theme is an exploration of the influences, people and events in that part of his life that equipped him and set him on a course to become the pre-eminent Irish communist of the twentieth century. It is intended as a further contribution to recent research that is revealing an often hidden but substantial contribution by Irish communists to national independence, social progress and internationalism.
Launched in Connolly Books (43 East Essex Street), Tuesday 19th July 2011