Che Guevara In Ireland – RTE Interview (1964)

This isn’t really a music post but it’s an interesting historical nugget from the RTE vaults of the legendary revolutionary leader, Che Guevara. Guevara who was no stranger to Ireland having Irish roots, making a number of visits including one in Kilkee in 1962 where he met artist Jim Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick would go on to created the iconic image of Che, which the world over is familiar with. According to Fitzpatrick:

in 1963 while a teenage student at Gormanston College he worked a summer job at the Marine Hotel pub in Kilkee, the remote town of his mother’s birth. One morning Che Guevara walked in with two Cubans and ordered an Irish Whiskey. Fitzpatrick immediately recognized him because of his interest in the Cuban revolution. Knowing about the Irish diaspora and history in Argentina, Fitzpatrick asked Che vaguely about his roots. Che told Fitzpatrick that his grandmother was Irish and that his great-grandmother Isabel, was from Galway, with other family being from Cork.

Anyway on this occasion bad weather forced Che Guevara to land in Dublin and as luck would have it he spoke to RTÉ reporter Sean Egan while Aer Lingus air hostess Felima Archer acted as interpreter. During the short interview Guevara answers questions about the political situation in Cuba and recent threats on his life.

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