Posted: Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Inistioge to Host the 17th Annual George Brown Commemoration with Focus on Democracy and Humanitarian Concerns

The annual George Brown Commemorative Event is set to take place on Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29, featuring significant discussions on pressing global issues. This year’s event will centre around two major themes: the growing threat to democracy from the rise of the Far Right and the critical humanitarian situation in Gaza following the ongoing conflict arising from the Israeli response to the Hamas attack of 7 October on its citizens in southern Israel.

Highlighting the event will be the Palestinian Ambassador, Dr. Jilan Abdalmajid, who will deliver the keynote address. Dr. Abdalmajid’s visit will begin with a symbolic tree-planting ceremony at Woodstock Gardens at 6 p.m. on Friday, continuing a tradition that has been upheld for seventeen years. Notable past participants in this tradition include the late British trade unionist Jack Jones, Cuban Ambassador Noel Carillo, former Palestinian Ambassador Dr. Hikmat Ajjuri, and Michael D. Higgins.

Following the tree-planting, Dr. Abdalmajid will speak at a public meeting to be held at St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Inistioge at 8 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to contribute to the UNICEF Ireland Children of Gaza Appeal, supporting humanitarian aid for children affected by the conflict.

Saturday’s events will also take place at Woodstock, starting with a gathering at the Conservatory Tea Rooms at 2 p.m. Craig Ó Mathúna will captivate the audience with a scintillating Spanish guitar recital. This will be followed by a talk from Spanish Civil War historian Harry Owens at the Olive Grove in the Walled Garden, where he will address the alarming rise of the Far Right and its implications for democracy.

The commemoration will conclude at 4 p.m. with a much-anticipated performance by the Graiguenamanagh Brass Band at The Square in Inistioge. They will be joined by local favourites, The Holden Brothers, promising a memorable finale to the event.

The George Brown Commemorative Event honours the legacy of Inistioge-born George Brown, who fought and died defending democracy with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War.
Since 2007, the local committee has used this event to highlight contemporary issues affecting democracy and humanitarian concerns in conflict zones.

For media inquiries, please contact Joe Doyle, Secretary, Inistioge George Brown Memorial Committee (086 2229186)

About George Brown: George Brown was born on November 5, 1906, in Ballyneale, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny. Raised in Manchester amidst a blend of Irish culture and working-class struggles, Brown became a passionate advocate for workers’ rights. His involvement in the Labour Movement and the General Strike of 1926 led him to join the Communist Party, where he earned a reputation as a formidable champion of the working class. Brown’s dedication culminated in his election to the Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1935. He ultimately sacrificed his life in the Battle of Brunete in 1937, fighting against fascism.

Join us in commemorating the life and legacy of George Brown at Inistioge, Friday/Saturday, June 28-29.