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D. R. O’Connor Lysaght July 2, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Very sad news today that Rayner Daniel Lysaght has passed away. A figure of considerable stature on the left who wrote very extensively and participated in political life and campaigns and who some of us on this site either were old friends and comrades or had the pleasure of meeting in person in more recent years. Our sympathy to his family, friends and comrades.


1. Cathal Ó Cionnaith - July 3, 2021

Very sorry to hear about Rayner’s death. I knew him since the late sixties when I was in the YS. He was a great source on labour and Irish history and indeed of historical anecdotes.

My deepest sympathy to Áine.

Liked by 1 person

2. Message Server - July 3, 2021

A true eccentric. I first came across him at the 1967 Labour Party Conference and he was captivated by a rousing speech from a publican from Carrigtwohill. Rayner insisted on going down there to meet him and plan the revolution. The guy was a first class chancer who just spoofed for any available audience. Rayner could not see through him. It was the funniest thing I had come across in a long time. I could not take Rayner seriously after that.



WorldbyStorm - July 3, 2021

I’d always be cautious on making a fixed determination on someone based on their youthful enthusiasm. I know between the early to mid 1980s on to the split when I was a member of the Worker’s Party I said, believed and put up with some right old rubbish that if you or anyone else was to quote back would have me (and likely everyone else) cringing. Anyhow, is it really the day to be commenting on someone quite in that way?

Liked by 4 people

Colm Breathnach - July 3, 2021

Really, you think that’s an appropriate comment on someone who has just passed away?

Perhaps some could learn from the life of a comrade who never wavered in his commitment to revolutionary socialism. Condolences to his family and friends.

Liked by 4 people

Kieran McNulty (Tralee). - July 8, 2021

So sorry to hear of Rayner’s passing. On occasion over the years I had the pleasure of being in his company and especially more recently as a fellow member of the ILHS. Rayner was a committed socialist and dedicated labour historian. An example to those of us on the left.

Deepest and sincere condolences to Rayner’s friends, comrades and family.

Liked by 1 person

3. EWI - July 3, 2021

Very saddened to hear of Rayner’s passing and sympathies to his family, friends and comrades. Always good odds that this polite, affable and knowledgeable activist would be present at radical events around the city in recent years, even after a long lifetime of struggle.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Liked by 2 people

EWI - July 3, 2021

Btw, I think it may have been Ronan McGreevy who apparently thought that ‘D.R.’ stood for Dr. and accidentally awarded Rayner this academic title.

Liked by 2 people

4. roddy - July 3, 2021

Letters before or after names can be confusing especially when surnames are similar to forenames.At one election ,a woman told me that her nephew asked her “who is Davy X”.He had seen an election poster for the late John Davey (SF councillor later assassinated by Loyalist / state forces)!


EWI - July 3, 2021

‘Davey X’ is a poll-topping name if I ever heard one (look at Ming).


5. pettyburgess - July 3, 2021

I was very saddened to hear about Rayner’s passing. A man who stayed the course. And another link with earlier generations of the socialist movement gone.

Liked by 1 person

6. sonofstan - July 3, 2021

Very sad to hear of this: I exchanged no more than a few words with him ever, but a thoroughly decent am by all accounts and a knowledgeable and sane voice here.

Liked by 2 people

7. Jim Monaghan - July 3, 2021

Like Cathal, I knew him from 1968 on. He stayed the course, despite the numerous ups and downs. He as incredibly well read. I remember many chats about obscure footnotes in history, about which Rayner would always know something. He, like us all, had his weaknesses or foibles, eg an obsession with footnotes.
I remember a lecture he gave in the Pearse Institute on Ulysses, Joyce’s one.. He had trawled through the newspapers of that famous day, referencing every allusion. I hope it is not lost.
He was, as far as I know, the first to explore the Soviet development during the War of Independence.
He maintained friendly relations across the left, and maybe more, political spectrum.
I remember way back, a then Leftist making a disparaging remark about Rayner. Paddy Healy told me that when a lot like this person retreated into well paid jobs and careers, Rayner would still be selling a leftwing paper outside a meeting. He stayed the course.
We hope to celebrate his life in the Autumn, when this awful virus is defeated.

From Anne Conway who was so helpful to rayner in his final days. “I’m very sad to write that my dear friend and comrade Rayner Daniel Lysaght passed away today at Beaumont hospital. Rayner was a lifelong revolutionary Marxist, historian and author, a Trotskyist and member of the Fourth International. He will be sadly missed by friends, family and comrades from around the world. I visited his wife Aine today in hospital and she is coping bravely with the news. Rayner wrote under the name D. R O’Connor Lysaght and leaves behind a large literary legacy, beginning with The Republic of Ireland in 1971 and more recently a trade union history 100 Years of Liberty Hall.
He was always to be seen at political meetings and demonstrations. I first met Rayner in the late seventies and was in regular contact with him assisting him these last few months. Myself and Kate and Grainne will miss him dearly.
Funeral arrangements: leaving Stafford’s Funeral Home Maypark @1.30pm Tuesday 6th arriving at Glasnevin crematorium for service at 2pm. It will be on rip and funeral can be viewed on webcam.”

Sadly Aine, his partner, is in hospital.

Liked by 3 people

WorldbyStorm - July 3, 2021

Thanks Jim for that overview of his life. Much appreciated.


EWI - July 4, 2021

We hope to celebrate his life in the Autumn, when this awful virus is defeated.

A symposium at least. The ILHS have mailed out a statement to the membership on his passing:

Rayner Lysaght R.I.P.

Dear Member,

The Irish Labour History Society is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our long-standing committee member, historian and activist Rayner Lysaght.

Rayner contributed so much to the Society and to labour history over many years. He will be sorely missed. We extend our sympathies to his wife Áine, his family and friends.

Full funeral details will be posted on http://www.rip.ie but we understand that the funeral is taking place this Tuesday 6th July leaving Stafford’s Funeral Home Maypark, Donnycarney @1.30 to arrive at Glasnevin Crematorium for 2 pm service.

May Rayner Rest In Peace.

Liked by 1 person

8. Rayner Lysaght has passed away – Limerick Soviet Historian, a parent of modern Irish Trotskyism | Tomás Ó Flatharta - July 5, 2021

[…] A wide range of people from the left and the workers’ movement have written generous personal tributes a number of them are here https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2021/07/02/d-r-oconnor-lysaght/ […]


9. tomasoflatharta - July 5, 2021

Most readers of this site probably know the sad news that Rayner Lysaght passed away on Friday July 2 2021.

Here is a link to the death notice :


People can add condolences, if they wish.

A wide range of people from the left and the workers’ movement have written generous personal tributes a number of them are here https://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2021/07/02/d-r-oconnor-lysaght/

People in Dublin may wish to join friends and comrades lining the route holding banners and tributes aloft. I will be bringing a Starry Plough and Fourth International banner. People might like to assist.

Rayner Lysaght was a long-standing supporter of the Fourth International, a founder-member of its Irish Section – the Revolutionary Marxist Group, in 1971 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Marxist_Group_(Ireland)?wprov=sfti1

The cremation ceremony starts at 2.00pm, so try to get to Glasnevin Cemetery at least 15 minutes before that time. https://tomasoflatharta.wordpress.com/2021/07/05/rayner-lysaght-has-passed-away-limerick-soviet-historian-a-parent-of-modern-irish-trotskyism/

Liked by 1 person

10. Niall Meehan - July 5, 2021

I first met Rayner in the mid 1970s and thereafter of his contribution to the Irish struggle, to the history of the Irish workers’ movement and to the importance of the National Question. When researching Conor Cruise O’Brien I benefited greatly from Rayner’s 1976 pamphlet on a ‘liberal’ moving right under cover of the left, End of a Liberal, the Literary Politics of Conor Cruise O’Brien (foolishly turned down by New Left Review). In 2008 we made an electronic version, available here as a PDF, https://cain.ulster.ac.uk/othelem/people/docs/oconnorlysaght76.htm.

Steadfast to the last condolences to Áine, Rayner’s family and to his comrades.

Liked by 1 person

11. entdinglichung - July 6, 2021
12. WorldbyStorm - July 6, 2021

A fine service broadcast online. Very moving contributions from his comrades and friends and a relative too.

Liked by 1 person

13. Rayner O’Connor Lysaght Presente! | Socialistresistance.org - July 9, 2021

[…] A wide range of people from the left and the workers’ movement have written generous personal tributes. A number of them are here. […]


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