BASQUE bishops are fighting to ensure that the memories of 14 ‘red’ priests executed during the Civil War are not forgotten.

It comes after the Spanish Church failed to officially consecrate them among dozens of other Catholic martyrs in 2007.

Now this injustice is to be partly righted in an official funeral held in their memory.

“We want to ask for forgiveness and in no way are we now pointing the finger,” insisted one of the bishops.

“We must remember that in the diocese of Vitoria, hundreds of people from both sides were executed in 1936 due to hate and revenge – among them were more than 70 priests.”

Meanwhile 300 families have so far given DNA samples to help identify the victims of what is thought to be Spain´s biggest mass grave, in Malaga.

Some 2,700 bodies have so far been dug up at San Rafael cemetery.

Mostly Republicans, they were executed between February 1937 and January 1955.