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Roger Casement


A native of Sandycove, Dublin, Roger Casement originally won acclaim as a member of the British Consular service, for whom he compiled reports on atrocities committed against colonial subjects in the Congo and South America. Despite his high standing within the British establishment, and being conferred with a knighthood in 1905, Casement had always held a strong sympathy with Irish nationalism and joined the Irish Volunteers’ provisional committee upon its formation. He was a central figure in organising the Howth gun-running of July 1914, and later travelled to America in order to raise funds and support for the nationalist cause. After establishing contact with the German embassy in Washington, he travelled to Germany in October 1914. He attempted to secure German military support for an Irish rebellion and to recruit Irish soldiers from the Prisoner of War camps. He was largely unsuccessful in his efforts, yet upon learning of the imminent Rising, Casement secured a small shipment of arms and ammunition to be sent to Ireland from the German government.  Along with Robert Monteith and Daniel Bailey, he travelled to Ireland aboard the U-19 submarine, intending to rendezvous with the arms shipment but also to warn against the Rising, which he felt was doomed to failure. Both aspects of his plan failed, and he was captured within hours of arriving on Banna Strand on Good Friday morning. He was transported to London and, after a four day trial, was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Pentonville prison on 3 August 1916.

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