Remembering Roger Casement - 1916 Rising – Irish Revolutionaries
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Remembering Roger Casement - 1916 Rising

Remembering Roger Casement - 1916 Rising

Casement worked in the Congo for Henry Morton Stanley and the African International Association from 1884; this association became known as a front for King Leopold II of Belgium.

Casement then joined the British Colonial Service and began to investigate the treatment of native workers, in 1904 published a notable report on their inhuman treatment in the Belgian Congo.

In 1906 he was sent to Brazil and was promoted to Consul-General in Rio de Janeiro. While there he investigated conditions in the Peruvian rubber plantations and the treatment of the indigenous Amazonian Indians by the Peruvian Amazon.

In 1911, Casement was knighted by King George V as Knight Bachelor for his efforts on behalf of the Amazonian Indians, before he retired from the service in 1912.

Having always been interested in Irish Nationalism, Casement helped found the Irish Volunteers with Eoin MacNeill in 1913 and travelled to the USA in 1914 to raise money for the Volunteers.

He then travelled to Germany to get support for a rebellion in Ireland; the Germans offered the Irish 20,000 rifles, 10 machine guns and accompanying ammunition, a fraction of the quantity of weaponry Casement had hoped for, and no German officers.

Casement headed back to Ireland but was captured at Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916 and charged with high treason for bringing German rifles to Ireland for a rebellion.

During his "trial" and appeal, the British attempted to blacken his name by releasing fake diaries, which resulted in some people withdrawing their support for him during the trial.

Having been found guilty of treason to the crown, Casement was hanged at Pentonville Gaol in London on August 3rd 1916; he was 51 years old.

Roger Casement was the last of the 1916 rising leaders to be executed; his remains were repatriated to Ireland in 1965.

Casement was given a state funeral and buried in Glasnevin cemetery, that same year the British officially recognised him again as Sir Roger Casement after taking away his knighthood on June 29th 1916.


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