Che: the Irish connection


Sir, – The late Breandán Breathnach, the great collector and theorist of Irish traditional music, was, during the the 1960s, an official of the Department of Agriculture.

In the latter capacity he had occasion to represent Ireland abroad at events dealing with agricultural policy, and in later years, on more than one occasion, he entertained his companions with his description of one such trip. This involved a visit to Geneva to attend an international conference. Enjoying a quiet drink in his hotel bar one evening, he got into conversation with another delegate to the conference, also from an island nation. This gentleman was none other than Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

Discovering Breathnach’s nationality, Guevara asked many questions about the political situation in Ireland at the time, and assured Breandán that, if sought, Cuban assistance would be immediately forthcoming in the cause of a united Ireland.

Seemingly, “Che” was not unmindful of his Irish roots. – Yours, etc,


Bluebell Road,

Dublin 12.