Peter Graham obituary by Sean Matgamna appeared in Workers Fight no.1, 14 January 1972.

 Peter Graham  was assassinated in a flat in the Stephen’s Green area of Dublin on 25 October 1971 at the age of twenty-six. There is little doubt that if he had lived he would have been a major force in left-wing politics.  This obituary by Sean Matgamna appeared in Workers Fight no.1, January 1972.   

funeral Peter Graham 1971

funeral Peter Graham 1971

On October 25th. 1971 Peter Graham, a Communist-Republican militant, was assassinated in Dublin. At his death he was a member of the Fourth International. From shortly after he joined the Trotskyist movement in 1967 until his death, he worked closely with the Workers’ Fight group.

He lived for 25 years, the last 6 or 7 of them as a revolutionary militant. Amongst socialist militants his dedication and controlled subordination of all else to the revolutionary cause marked him out very clearly. He organised his life, his entire existence, around the political tasks which he had at first perceived almost instinctively as a young Dublin apprentice, and then learned to understand consciously – and with sharpening clarity as a young man: he took it as a matter of course that that life was expendable. In these traits he was remarkable but not unique: many republicans of equal dedication and revolutionary seriousness, and even socialist convictions, have died and are fighting and dying now in Northern Ireland. But in one respect he was unique.

Peter Graham’s life, like theirs, was set in the barren half-century that followed the death of James Connolly, and that saw a rupture between Irish revolutionary socialism and Irish Republicanism – and the eclipse of socialism and the sterility of non-socialist Republicanism. His life like all Irish life was dominated by the consequences of these facts.

Politically, Peter Graham is important to us because he was in the vanguard of a struggle to reunite the genuinely revolutionary traditions of the society and nation into which he was born, with the modern equivalent of Connolly’s socialism – the internationalist revolutionary tradition summed up throughout the world by the names of Lenin and Trotsky. Without such a fusion, and the fighting communist-republican revolutionary party that will be built on its basis, the Irish working class cannot fully and finally emancipate itself.

Peter’s personal traits, his personal dedication, thus had a more than personal significance. They vere part of a drive of the Irish work- ing class to cut a road out of the bloody impasse in which imperialism and its bastard offspring, Irish capitalism, have landed the Irish people. Part of a drive to forge an understanding, a programme, a method of struggle – and a socialism that could offer more than abstract preaching.

From that drive came Peter Graham’s death. After 1969 the attempt to re-fuse communism and republicanism demanded more than theorising. Peter was prepared to search actively, in practical action, for the way forward. He entered the cross-currents of Irish republican politics. And in those cross-currents he lost his life.

His friends wiil long grieve for the loss of an unbreakable militant, totally dedicated to the socialist revolution.

Peter Graham

Peter Graham

Thank’s to Sean Matgamna -workersliberty for article-


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