The origins of FIBI’s essay competition lies in the  speech made by Bob Doyle at the battle of Jarama commemoration in Feb 2007. In that speech, refering to those in the International Brigades who died fighting Fascism, he as asked the question …”did my comrades die in vain”. Among a number of the Irish present that day a discussion began as to how and what more could be done to ensure their sacrifice was not in vain. It became clear that  one of the most important things to be done was to resurrect the names and the deeds of all the Irish International Brigaders who fought Fascism in Spain. At that stage it had already been decided to  build a  memorial in Madrid to Charlie Donnelly and all the Irish brigaders who died in Spain  and we  would,  in time, build monuments / place  plaques to the memory  Brigaders throughout the 32 counties of Ireland. While it was essential to do that work it was felt  there was more  in the educational field that could and must be done. Following the Jarama commemoration in 2011 a meeting was held in Dublin where  inspired  by the lines………………………….Mothers! Women! When the years pass by and the wounds of war are stanched; when the memory of the sad and bloody days dissipates in a present of liberty, of peace and of well­being; when the rancors have died out and pride in a free country is felt equally by all Spaniards, speak to your children. Tell them of these men of the International Brigades..….. in the farewell address made by  Dolores Ibarruni  ” La Pasionaria” to the International Brigades in Barcelona Nov 1 1938, a decision was taken to organise an essay competition.

The inaugural essay competition in 2012 was a major success and FIBI will continue this educational process with the  hope to further…..” tell of these men of the International Brigades”