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Peter Graham Commemoration video February 21, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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On Saturday 18th February, an interesting commemoration for Trotskyist and Saor Eire activist Peter Graham took place in the Cobblestone Pub Dublin.

A large crowd with standing room only, packed into the Cobblestone event room.

The commemoration was introduced and chaired Alan MacSimoin from the Stoneybatter & Smithfield People’s History Project.

The speaker was long time Trotskyist activist Rayner O’Connor Lysaght.

Comrades who knew Peter Graham contributions in a lively Q&A session.

Thanks to The Irish Republican Marxist History Project  for sending this on

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Comments»

1. Florrie O'Donoghue - February 22, 2017

I am no expert on Saor Éire, but it is worth noting that the Special Branch were continuing to push the line about Graham being shot for misappropriation of funds even in a private capacity.

There is a report in Kew from the UK embassy in Dublin of a Special Branchman informing people at an embassy dinner that Graham was shot for this and for “shopping Morrissey and Dillon”.

Is mise, srl.,

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oconnorlysaght - February 22, 2017

I never heard that from anyone, but then I don’t mix with known Special Branch members.
I have no doubt that the story was cooked in Garda HQ or thereabouts, not outside.

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2. BasilM - February 22, 2017

Interesting to hear that ‘Special Branchmen’ would be invited to British Embassy dinners. Really?

In any event, even if that’s true, and even if such a person said that — it’s just a lie. I never heard anyone say the latter part about Dillon and Morrissey, both of whom I knew.

And if I had, I would not believe it, knowing what I did about the relationship between Peter and Johnny Morrissey in particular. It was close, both comradely and personal, and in any event Peter’s high standards of revolutionary morality ruled out any possibility of him ‘shopping’ anyone, least of all a comrade.

The misappropriation thing is an old chestnut which morphed from ‘the killers thought he had SE funds in his possession’ through various steps to what you say the SB disseminated. While the ‘they thought’ bit could be the case, the final slander is exactly that, and in my view it does no service to anyone to repeat it.

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Florrie O'Donoghue - February 22, 2017

I think that addressing and refuting the claims can only be a good thing (I see that the wikipedia page for Peter Graham is particularly nasty). No offence was intended here; I referred to a historical document which I don’t think most readers will be familiar with in a historical thread.

I had, in fact, remembered wrongly re SB. I have the piece in front of me now.

“John Lovatt-Dolan, a Dublin Senior Counsel who led for the prosecution of Frank Keane in 1971 and presumably had close and continuing contacts with Special Branch, produced some items of gossip the other night. He said that Peter Graham, the Irish representative of the Fourth International who was found shot through the head in Dublin last October (I think Peter Evans reported the incident at the time) had been murdered by Saor Eire. He had appropriated the organisation’s funds to his own bank account and then shopped Morrissey and Joseph Dillon who were subsequently charged with the Garda Fallon murder. Morrissey was the real leader of the gang.”

[It goes on to report on the destruction of Nelson’s Pillar]

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3. oconnorlysaght - February 22, 2017

I think it clear that, in 1971, some Gardai were honing skills that would be used against Maurice McCabe (and, no doubt others). Obviously Lovatt Dolan was susceptible to being their mouthpiece (no doubt, he felt it was compensation for failing to get Frank Keane).
I have not seen the wikipedia entry. How can it be changed?

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Florrie O'Donoghue - February 22, 2017

No idea, I’m afraid. Register as an editor, most likely, but I hear they are stricter these days (i.e. newly registered may not have the same editing privileges).

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BasilM - February 23, 2017

You are certainly right about the Wikipedia article, Florrie. Not just poor, but nasty. But as you say, mostly a cut & paste job from Sean Matgamna’s piece, itself partly a vehicle for Sean to pour out some bile about various subjects, including both Saor Eire and the LWR.

In respect of Matgamna’s remarks on the latter, keep in mind that he was a founder and a member of the LWR. On occasion, he would descend on Dublin to attend a meeting, at which in essence he threw his weight around and attempted to dictate both theory and policy.

After a while this became somewhat wearing on the comrades, especially those from around the country (Drogheda, Dundalk, Sligo, Cork, Limerick, Waterford, etc) who did not know him from IWG days in London. The view was that it smelled of the old trend of British comrades telling the Paddies what to do, and he was asked to desist. At which point he left to do his own thing with Workers Fight and was never seen again.

If memory serves correctly, he was later very proud of having recruited about 100 into WF. If you compare the population of Ireland and England at that time, this was the equivalent of five members for the LWR.

BTW, where did that stuff from Lovatt-Dolan appear? Again, a man — who should have know better — basing his account on speculation and rumour among the bottom-feeders of the SB, a very intellectually challenged crowd, as I discovered from the one time I was interrogated by them.

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Ed - February 23, 2017

Looking at Wiki, that article all seems to be the work of this person:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:FrMurphy1798

In principle anyone can edit a Wiki article; you don’t need to have an account; but where it goes when there’s a dispute is beyond me I’m afraid. It’s very thinly and poorly sourced—much of it seems to be lifted verbatim from one article by Sean Mantagmna—and Wiki articles are generally meant to have a much more objective and dispassionate tone than that (‘NPOV’ they call it).

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Aonrud ⚘ - February 23, 2017

That article could certainly use a few of those POV and poor references banners.

The same user seems to have form in edit wars and POV edits, judging from his/her talk page.

Liked by 1 person

BasilM - February 23, 2017

Really, it could do with a rather more factual and objective replacement. I’ve done a wee bit of editing on it just now, but it’s such a dog’s dinner a new article is called for.

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4. Florrie O'Donoghue - February 23, 2017

I had never heard of Sean Mantagmna, bu the bio is appreciated, thank you..

The source is:

FCO 87/6, “Political Activities of Saor Éire of Republic of Ireland” at the British National Archives.

It popped up in a search request I made, so I thought it worth a look.

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