Liam Daltun, Peter Graham, Maureen Keegan: In Defence of Three Dead Irish Socialists (1973)

Submitted by dalcassian on 27 September, 2016 - 8:07 Author: Sean Matgamna

Having recently completed a witch-hunting series of articles 'exposing'
various left-wing organisations as being responsible for industrial strife in
Britain, the News of the World on December 10th launched a new series.
This time the message is that the real cause of the 'trouble” in Northern Ireland
is not that the Catholics are being repressed. No, it's all produced by the
intervention of... yes, Russian and Fast European agents!

Both series can be seen by anyone with even a slight knowledge of either
the British trade union movement or Irish revolutionary politics, as a tissue
of misinformed nonsense, a rehash of news cuttings served up in a sauce of
speculation and innuendo. Everything is grist to their mill-

One 'item' on this poisonous menu concerns three comrades of ours who
all died tragically within three months of each other, between October 1971
and January 1972, Peter Graham, Mairin Keegan, and Liam Daltun
Peter Graham was assassinated in Dublin, and his killers are unknown.
Mairin Keegan died of cancer. Liam Daltun committed suicide.

According to the News of the World these three were each successively
'heads' of the Fourth International in Ireland. Preventing it as a 'rumor’
they allege that Peter Graham was killed because he was a paid police
informer against Republicans. As for Mairin Keegan, "revolutionary circles"
are alleged to be "wondering" "whether her death is linked with the theory
that carcinomous substances can be associated with the manufacture of
bombs". Daltun is alleged to have claimed that suicide was the only
escape {!} from... a horrible death

Thus the diseased minds of the News of the World hacks find employment
in this season of short-time working for journalistic peeping toms in slandering
and maligning the dead, who cannot speak for themselves. They also join in the
current game of branding the Fourth International (an international organisation
of revolutionary socialists) as the "terrorist international".

The simple counter-posing of facts to fantasies and speculations will do to
start with, because most of their ‘facts’, even the minor, easily checked ones,
are false.

Peter Graham died in October 1971, not November 1971. Far from
Republicans shooting him, both Officials and Provisionals issued
statements condemning the murder, and the Provisionals were
represented at his funeral, as was Saor Eire (a small Guevarist group).
There is no Irish "head' of the Fourth International, because there
is no Irish section, only a small (about 10
members), very young group, which certainly supports the Republican
struggle in Northern Ireland, but functions as a study circle publishing a
duplicated theoretical journal. No-one on the left or in the Republican
movement in Ireland or in England who knew Peter Graham believed or has
ever supposed that Peter was other than a revolutionary socialist.

Mairin Keegan was not in her 20s (as the News of the World states) but
in her 40s. She fought a ten year battle against the disease which killed
her. She was in Derry, we believe, but the fighting was in August 1969, not
August 1968, as the News of the World states. They are right only in describing
the comrade as a serious revolutionary dedicated, as they put it, to
"urging rebellion" against the system of which the News of the World is
one of the ornaments.

There is no other connection between these two deaths than that both people
were human beings with vulnerable bodies and minds. There is a connection
between Mairin Keegan's death and Liam Daltun in that her death, and the funeral
he attended, seem to have been the final blow which turned Liam Dal tun's mind
No more than that. The Mews of the World presents his suicide as a rational choice,
Daltun having fled from Dublin in fear! He had lived in London permanently since 1957.
He was also a man remarkable for his courage, which was nothing less than extravagant.

At his death (less than two weeks after Mairin Keegan's death) he was
certainly not in full political agreement with the other two comrades he is
alleged to have "succeeded" as "head" of the Irish section of the Fourth International.

Only an amoral cretin, a lying hack low enough to merit a job with the
News of the World and light years away from the ideas and battles in
which these comrades spent their lives could produce such scurrilous
rubbish. The most charitable thing that can be said about the sewer-tied
creep who, quite casually, brands Peter Graham as a police informer, is
that this News of the World tout probably sees police informing as all in
a day's work. The same moral idiocy is necessary to both the police informer
and the News of the World 'journalist'.

The memories of these three comrades are as far from the possibility
of being tarnished by this paper, the most foul and disease-ridden rag in
Fleet Street, as their lives were distant from the condition of moral
imbecility natural to its paid slanderers.

Sean Matgamna.

Workers Fight, January 6, 1973

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