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Roger Casement.

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Roger Casement.

1st Sept 1864- 3rd Aug 1916.

Roger Casement was born in Sandycove, Dublin on 1st September 1864, his father was Captain Roger Casement who served in The Kings Own Regiment of Light Dragoons, serving in the 1842 Afghan campaign. Young Roger Casement was baptized in the Protestant faith, his early years were spent at Doyle's Cottage Lawson Terrace, Sandycove, Dublin. His mother Anne Jephson of Dublin, had him re-baptised secretly as a Roman Catholic at the age of three in Rhyl; she died in Worthing when he was nine. Upon reaching the age of thirteen his father died, after which he was raised by Protestant relations of his father in Co Antrim, where he was educated at Ballymena Academy.

Casement joined the British Diplomatic Service, serving as Consul in Mozambique, Angola, the Congo Free State and Brazil. He gained international recognition for his critical reports on the treatment of workers in the Amazon and Congo. In 1911 he was awarded a knighthood, in that year he retired from the diplomatic service due to ill health, taking up residence in Dublin.

Disillusioned by British colonial policy Casement formed the Irish National Volunteers in 1913, in July the following year he traveled to New York in an attempt to gain support for the Volunteers. The following month saw the outbreak of The First world War, in November 1914 Casement went to Berlin hopeful that Germany would lend support to his cause, he was to be disappointed on three fronts, finding Germany unwilling to send military forces to Ireland, to supply officers to lead an uprising or to allow Irish prisoners of war to take part in the planned uprising.

Roger casement returned to Ireland on board a German submarine, landing at Banna Strand near Tralee County Kerry on 12 April 1916, some reports state that the submarine was carrying arms. It is thought by some that at this time Casement hoped to dissuade other leaders of the rebellion to postpone it. Twelve days later on 24th April he was arrested and taken to London where he was charged with treason. It was around this time the so called 'Black Diary' reputed to have been written by Casement began to circulate in governmental departments, the diary's are said to have detailed homosexual practices with native boys. The diary's were examined by scholars in 1959 and again in 2002 and pronounced authentic.

Casement was tried and found guilty of treason, an appeal was lodged and subsequently dismissed, he was taken to Pentonville Prison in London where he was hanged on 3 August 1916.

In 1965 Roger Casement's remains were returned to Dublin and afforded a state funeral; they were then re-interred in Dublin.

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