Patrick Lynch was born in Galway in 1715 and later emigrated to Argentina. Two hundred years later in 1928 one of his descendents  was born – Ernesto Guevara-Lynch, better known as Che Guevara.

In 1960 a photograph of Che was taken at a memorial service in Havana by the Cuban photographer Alberto Korda. It was a head and shoulders shot but it became frequently cropped to “that” image of a beret-wearing revolutionary looking up and to the left.

In 1968 the Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick created the two-tone stencil version. If you haven’t worn a T-shirt, owned a poster, or stencilled your schoolbooks with that image, you are in a minority. It was made just before Guevara was killed by a corrupt Bolivean government propped up by American money.

The image has never been copyright-protected in the usual sense, but both Korda and Fitzpatrick have moved against commercial use that they saw as crass.

I was walking alongside the river yesterday on my way to Grantchester Meadows. There’s a small tunnel under the road and grafittied on the wall was the familiar old image of Che. Even in 2012 there’s someone carrying the flame.

Only an hour earlier I was reading about the ongoing plan for Galway Council to erect a statue to Che, and how this idea had raised an angry reaction from the chairwoman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. There’s panic in Detroit, indeed. Just let him collect dust, but let me know where to send a donation for the statue, lads. This is one I definitely want to see.

And if there is a heaven for Marxist Revolutionaries, I’d like to think Che is sitting there having a good old laugh at them all. So I did a new image for that scenario. I even hand-painted in the little yellow star.