The death has taken place this week of Seamus McGrane, a leader of the breakaway IRA group known as Óglaigh na hÉireann (ONH). Mr McGrane died in captivity at Portaloise jail on Saturday last from a suspected heart attack.
In a statement, Óglaigh na hÉireann sent condolences to the McGrane family and described Mr McGrane as a founding member and its first Chief-of-Staff.
“He led from the front at all times and his guidance through difficult times was invaluable,” they said.
“He will be sadly missed by us all, and we will forever hold his comradeship and friendship dear. Ireland has lost a true patriot, and his vision of an Ireland free from British interference will be his and our lasting legacy.
“I measc Laochradh Na nGael go raibh a nAnamacha Uaisle. Thug sé a shaol ar son an troid ar son muintir agus Saoirse Na hÉireann.”
A funeral of family and friends in County Louth was well attended, despite the harassment of dozens of armed Gardai police and a Garda helicopter.
In an oration delivered of behalf of E2 republican prisoners, they said that despite attempts by both British forces and the 26 County state to break Mr McGrane’s will, he “never faltered from his Republican ideals or ever bent the knee. He remained unbowed and unbroken, a steadfast Óglach of the Irish Republican Movement.”
They added: “Shay’s demeanour, honesty, bravery and unwavering commitment earned him his place in leadership. His steady hand and informed counsel are a great loss that will be borne by many.”
The intense Garda presence at the funeral contrasted with the force’s disinterest in serious crime in Dublin. Three gangland killimgs have taken place in the past week, including one at the unmonitored wake of a victim of a previous killing.
Saoradh pointed to the contradictions in the actions of Garda Special Branch.
“We are constantly told that the Gardai are lacking resources, yet they can find dozens to harass a Republican funeral while young working-class men are killing each other in Dublin?” they asked.