Cool Moments in History: Che Guevara's Irish roots

in history •  10 months ago

source One of Belfasts famous murals

It will come as no surprise to anyone, who knows Che Guevara's full name, that he has Irish roots. That name is Ernesto Che Guevara Lynch.

While Che Guevara did enough interesting things to warrant more than one 'Cool Moments in History' write up, today's will focus solely on something he had no control over. His ancestry.

Patrick Lynch

Patrick Lynch was born in Galway, Ireland in 1715. A historically influential family that had lost a lot of power since defeats to Cromwell's forces.

So Patrick decided to leave for richer pastures, first traveling to spain and then onto Argentina where he was a "regidor" (royal representative). He later married a wealthy heiress and amassed substantial lands.

I am sure there is plenty more to his story but for the most part he is remembered as the great great great great grandfather of Che Guevara.

World tour

In December of 1964 Che embarked on a famous 3 month tour with visits to People's Republic of China, North Korea, the United Arab Republic, Algeria, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Dahomey, Congo-Brazzaville, Tanzania, Czechoslovakia and Ireland.

While in Ireland the Irish media found out about Che's ancestry. Here I feel I must make an aside.

The Irish love famous people and famous things that have an Irish connection. On top of that Ireland has an affinity with revolutionaries and a fairly high level of communist sympathies. So you can imagine finding out that Che Guevara, one of the most famous people in the world, was Irish, was quite the sensation.

So the media found out and of course asked Che about his roots. Che stayed tight lipped about his ancestry for reasons that became clear later after reading a letter he sent his father.

I am in this green Ireland of your ancestors. When they found out, the television [station] came to ask me about the Lynch genealogy, but in case they were horse thieves or something like that, I didn't say much.

Lasting Effect

As you can see by the mural above with the great quote from his father 'In my son's veins flowed the blood of Irish rebel', Che has had a lasting effect on the island of Ireland.

So much so that in 2017 the Irish government commemorate his death with the release of this stamp.



Che Guevara wikipedia

Patrick Lynch wikipedia

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Wow I did not know that ! History can be very interesting, especially when we research the roots of events and people. Sometimes you don't have to read fiction, picking up a history book is more than interesting enough


History is like a collection of all the best stories in the world, don't understand why some find it boring


I don't understand either , people are getting a little too lazy these days, they want everything served to them


I concur - I don't even read fiction because real life is way more fascinating (and weird!).


Haha indeed, reality can be even more weird than fiction lol

it was quite wonderful to know about this interesting for me thanks for sharing

Nic post

Nicw post!!

Like many commenters - I'm also surprised by this. From the mural to the stamp to Lynch's relocation to Argentina (can you imagine that trip??). Really fascinating. Thanks for sharing this!

Really interesting! Thanks for sharing post about history. :)