John Graham (Irish republican)

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John S.S. Graham (1915, in Belfast, Ireland – 29 December 1997) was an important Irish Republican Army (IRA) activist in the 1940s.

He was one of a group of Protestants (including George Gilmore and George Plant) who joined the IRA, and for a time in the 1940s they formed a company of the IRA in Belfast. He rose to become Belfast Commander and Northern Director of Intelligence.

Graham was jailed during the IRA "Border Campaign" of 1956-62. While in prison, he learned Irish, and started one of the first Irish language newspapers in Belfast (which is now discontinued). In the late 1970s, a book was written about him, in which the author used a code name, John Gray, instead of John Graham.

He was a communicant of the Church of Ireland and opposed any romanisation of that church. As a member of the select vestry of St Mary's on the Crumlin Road in Belfast, Graham resisted the placing of an image of the Virgin Mary in the church.[1]


  1. ^ History Ireland September/October 2009