http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/nort ... 908529.stmA reunion of three veterans of the Spanish Civil War from both sides of the Atlantic has taken place in Waterford in the Republic of Ireland.
With only a small number of the 45,000 who fought on the republican side surviving worldwide, the occasion was unique, as BBC Northern Ireland's Diarmaid Fleming reports.
Three elderly gentlemen sipping tea and beer in the corner of a hotel in Waterford reminisce on old times.
They have plenty to talk about.
Jack Jones, 91, Michael O'Riordan, 86, and Moe Fishman, 88, are among the last few surviving members worldwide of the International Brigade which fought for the republican side in the Spanish Civil War.
The three are visiting the city to unveil a new memorial to the 11 men from County Waterford who joined them in the ranks fighting for the fledging democratic Spanish Republic.
The war from 1936-39 between Spanish Republicans and General Franco's nationalists - backed by Hitler and Mussolini - was once described as "World War One-and-a-Half", a bloody dress rehearsal for the Second World War.
About 45,000 international volunteers came from 54 countries but ended up on the losing side.
Many of them believed that with more international support they could have won, interrupting the rise of fascism and even the course of the Second World War.
More than 500,000 people died in the civil war, about 200,000 in combat.
An estimated 200 men went to Spain from Ireland to fight for the republican side, including Catholics and Protestants from Northern Ireland.
Fifty-nine died in battle and now only two of the Irish volunteers remain.
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- Roel R.
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- Lid geworden op: 21 sep 2003, 01:50