Former Workers’ Party president Seán Garland dies

Key figure in securing Official IRA ceasefire in 1972

Seán Garland: helped secure   Official IRA ceasefire of May 1972. Photograph: Frank Miller

Seán Garland: helped secure Official IRA ceasefire of May 1972. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

Former president of the Workers’ Party of Ireland Seán Garland has died age 84 after a long illness.

He is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Caoimhe, and two grandchildren.

Mr Garland was an IRA leader in the late 1960s and early 1970s and a key figure in securing the Official IRA ceasefire of May 1972.

He was first arrested on foot of the US extradition warrant in 2005 for his alleged involvement in a sophisticated counterfeiting operation.

He then fled to Dublin when he was released on bail but was arrested there in 2009.

He fought extradition to the United States, and in January 2012, the High Court ruled that US authorities had no jurisdiction to extradite him. The Attorney General’s office decided not to contest the ruling.

In a statement, the Workers’ Party said Mr Garland was “one of the people who most influenced and shaped the Workers’ Party over many decades”.

Workers’ Party president Michael Donnelly said Mr Garland was “a unique and charismatic individual whose contribution to Irish political life cannot be overestimated”.

“Seán never took the easy option or the path of least resistance. He always based his decisions, and his actions, on what he adjudged to be in the best interests of working class people and the revolutionary socialist project,” he said.