The song was inspired by Spanish Civil War veteran Michael O'Riordan's book Connolly Column.
<blockquote>Moore said: “Without Michael O’Riordan I’d never have been able to write Viva la Quince Brigada. I must have performed the song over a thousand times and every single time I sing it I think of Mick and wonder how can I ever thank him enough. In Spain in 1983 I was reading his book, Connolly Column – the story of the Irishmen who fought for the Spanish Republic, and I began this song as I read on. The song was lifted entirely from his book.”
Moore's original song title - which translates as "Long live the Fifth Brigade" - was a slip due to the similarity in Spanish between "quinta" (fifth) and "quince" (fifteen). The bulk of Irish volunteers served with the XV International Brigade; the "Fifth Brigade" was not one of the......