Patrick `Doc' Dalton
The untimely death of Doc Dalton on 5 May has been the cause of great sadness to republicans throughout Ireland, especially in his native County Limerick and also in County Kerry. Although many knew that he was seriously ill since January, news of his death came as a great shock.
He bore his illness with tremendous courage, dignity and forbearance, surrounded and comforted by all his family right up to the very end as he became weaker and his life slowly ebbed away.
Doc was a staunch republican from an early age, reared on song and story of people connected with his native Athea, like Con Colbert executed after the 1916 Rising, Pat Dalton of Knockanure fame, Jack Mulvihill, who served the republican movement in Counties Limerick and Leitrim and many, many more since.
Doc gave time, commitment and loyalty to the republican cause. He knew partition was wrong and that nationalists in the Six Counties had been subjected to injustice under British/unionist rule. His life was dedicated to ending British rule in our country, as he saw it as being the source of all the division and conflict.
Doc was a man of great humanity and kindness. He often spoke of the plight and the oppression of the poor and it hurt him very much that such inequality still exists in Ireland. He was very much against the consumerism and materialism prevalent in Irish society. He also had a great affinity with many who chose to live on the margins of that society like the travelling musician or story teller, or the person who clung to the old style of living or practice of agriculture.
The crowds that attended his removal and funeral showed clearly the respect and high esteem in which he was held. He was accompanied on his final journey by a full guard of honour drawn from his friends and comrades in the Republican Movement. As we shouldered his coffin down the street of Athea to the graveyard overlooking the beautiful countryside of West Limerick and North Kerry, we all realised that we had lost a great friend and soldier of Ireland and that we must continue this struggle until Doc's dream of a free, united Ireland is achieved.
We extend heartfelt sympathy to his mother, wife, son, brothers, sisters and his many relatives and friends.
Bhí sé dílis dá mhuintir, dá dhúchas agus do thír na hÉireann.
COIREALL Mac CURTÁIN