Peter J. Farley (1930 - 2004)
Peter J. Farley was born into a police family in Newark, New Jersey in 1930. His father, uncles, and cousins were all policemen, so it was no surprise when Peter joined the Newark Police Department in 1955. In 1972, he became a Sheriff’s officer in Essex County. He served under Sheriff John Cryan. He remained with the Sheriff's office until his retirement in 1988. After retiring he worked for the Reboli Detective Agency in Fairfield and as a Security Officer at the Point Pleasant Hospital.
Peter, and his beloved Ellen, who passed away in 2001, were married in 1949. They were the parents of four children.
Peter was interested in all things Irish. He was a member of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of Essex County, the Emerald Society of Essex County, the McGovern Association, the Cryan Association, P.B.A. #3 & #183, the Elks P.B.O.E. #21 in Newark and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He was a communicant at the Bayhead Sacred Heart Church and a member of the Bayhead Holy Name Society.
He and Ellen became involved in the cause of Irish freedom and reunification after a visit to Ireland in the early 70’s. During that visit they met with and interviewed relatives of hunger striker Frank Stagg. They also met Maire Drumm, who was vice-President of Sinn Fein. Maire was assassinated shortly thereafter by pro-British forces. From that moment on, Peter and Ellen became staunch supporters and promoters of Irish freedom and reunification. They worked independently and through Irish Republican organizations to promote the Eire Nua (New Ireland) program here in the U.S. They also made their home n Newark and in Point Pleasant a safe haven for Irish Republicans for many years.
Peter produced a series of one-hour television programs for Suburban Cablevision that featured news from Ireland as well as local news and activities relating to the British occupation and control of six of Ireland's thirty-two counties. On several occasions he co-hosted the Newark St. Patrick’s Parade. He also taped the historic St. Patrick’s Day Parade breakfast in New York when Mike Flannery and Peter King were the Grand Marshals.
During the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike Campaign here in the U.S., he taped interviews, for publication, with former Irish Prisoners of War ‘Blanketmen’ and other leading activists who were 'on the run’. Amongst his historic collection are taped interviews with Commandant Tom Maguire, the late Daithi O Conaill, co-author of Eire Nua, Ruairi O'Bradaigh, co-author of Eire Nua and president of Republican Sinn Fein, the late Maire Drumm, Sean Mac Stiophain the former Chief of Staff of the IRA, Clare Short, a British MP and Cabinet Minister, and Alistair Logan an English barrister.
Peter was co-founder of The Irish National Caucus and the Irish American Fenian Society of New Jersey. In 1978, he and Ellen were primarily responsible for organizing a campaign to send an official congressional delegation to Ireland, under the direction of the House Judiciary Committee's Chairman Peter Rodino, to investigate the U.S. government's policy of denying visas to proponents of Eire Nua. He continued with that campaign by arranging for Mary Ward, vice-President of Republican Sinn Fein to meet with George Mitchell and other leading members of congress.
1n 1986, after Provisional Sinn Fein abandoned the cause of Irish freedom and reunification and accepted the British roadmap for Ireland, Peter was one of the first voices heard here in the U.S. in support of Republican Sinn Fein who rejected the British roadmap, opting instead to continue the struggle for Irish freedom and reunification. Since that time he managed the circulation and distribution of Saoirse, the voice of true Republicanism, in the United States.
Shortly before he passed away Peter asked for and was briefed on the status of Irish Republican activism here in the U.S and particularly the Eire Nua Campaign. His curiosity was based on his belief that his life as an Irish-American Republican leader should be judged on how well he inspired the next generation of Irish-American activists. He was happy to hear that the new crop of activists were ready to carry on - with one scheduled to attend Bodenstown and others arranging meetings with members of congress. He was also happy to hear that 'Saoirse' was in good hands and had not missed a beat.
By his extraordinary courage and convictions he was an inspiration to those who worked with him in promoting the cause of Irish freedom. His extraordinary knowledge of the workings of the political system here in the United States opened many doors for republican activists from Ireland who otherwise would not access to political leaders or media outlets.
Peter was a great American, a faithful friend to his Irish heritage and an honorable and dependable ally who never wavered in his support for the cause of Irish freedom.
Peter, the veteran Irish Republican leader in the U.S. died at his home in Point Pleasant New Jersey on June 12 2004.
Tomás Ó Coısdealha
cemetery AND grave location