of Ireland and the United Kingdom are two countries separated by a common
history. In the Irish version, Dublin-born Sir Roger Casement (1864-1916)
was a hero of the struggle for independence. In the British version, he
was a traitor. At the outbreak of the First World War, he sought German
help to win Irish independence. He arranged for an arms shipment to be
delivered to Ireland on a German ship, the Aud, on the eve of
the Easter Rising (23rd April 1916). The ship was seized by the British
and scuttled. Casement, who came ashore on Banna Strand from a German
submarine, was arrested, and put on trial at the Old Bailey for treason.
He was convicted and hanged at Pentonville Prison. His remains were returned
to Ireland for reburial in 1960.
At the time of the trial his 'Black Diaries' exposed him as a promiscuous
homosexual, losing him much public sympathy. These diaries were long believed
to be forgeries, particularly in Ireland, but in 2002 the results of a
forensic study sponsored jointly by BBC and RTE established beyond doubt
that they were Casement's.
For more information, see Paul Tilzey, 'Roger
Casement: Secrets of the Black Diaries', on the BBC website (link
correct on 11th June 2004).
Marie, Conor, and
Gareth on the Casement Memorial; the inscription and portrait of
Roger Casement. The inscription reads: 'At a spot on Banna Strand
adjacent to here Roger Casement - humanitarian & Irish revolutionary
leader - Robert Monteith & a third man came ashore from a German
submarine on Good Friday morning 21st April 1916 in furthering the
cause of Irish freedom.'