The Spanish Civil War veteran and Chairman of the Communist Party of Ireland, Michael O'Riordan, has died in Dublin. He was 88.

He was one of only two remaining Irishmen who fought against General Franco's fascist forces and was shot and injured in Spain.

Born in west Cork in 1917, Michael O'Riordan was a member of the Fianna and of the IRA, and joined the Communist Party in 1935.

A year later he went to Spain where he fought with the XVth International Brigade and was wounded at Ebro.

Shortly after his return to Ireland in 1939, he was interned in the Curragh camp until 1943.

A bus driver and active trade unionist, he was a candidate in the Cork Borough by-election in 1947, and on moving to Dublin he stood in five general elections as an Independent.

He was active in the Dublin Housing Action Committee in the 1960s, and later in the campaign to free the Birmingham Six.

His 1979 account of the Irish who fought on the government side in Spain, 'The Connolly Column', was reprinted recently.

The Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, and the International Brigades Commemoration Committee have paid tribute to Mr O'Riordan.

Mr Ahern described Michael O'Riordan as 'a fearless fighter for the labour movement throughout his life.'

The IBCC said he was a leading figure in the fight for social justice and that he will be missed by many in the Labour movement.

His funeral will be held this Saturday at 12.30pm in Glasnevin Cemetary, Dublin.