CASEMENT, Roger. I, Roger Casement. 50th Anniversary of the Irish Rebellion 1916-1966. A Dramatic Biography with the voice of Frank O’Dwyer.


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Long Playing Record. In fine condition in original sleeve with portrait of Casement against the Irish Tricolour.
Side One: Casement was born in Sandycove, County Dublin, the son of a British officer. He went to live with his uncle in Ballymena, County Antrim, at an early age and was educated at the Academy there. He went then to Liverpool to learn the shipping business and made several voyages including one to the Gold Coast. Four years later, he joined an expedition to the Congo under the American, General Henry Sandford. This experience helped him obtain a post in the Niger Coast Protectorate administration where he started his consular career which took him to Lourenço Marques in Mozambique, Gaboon and the French Congo. His report on the atrocities committed by the Belgians in the extraction of rubber by native labour in the Congo was made in 1904. The hardships of the task made him ill and there was an interval of leave in Ireland. Then he was sent to Brazil as a consul and was asked to investigate reports of atrocities in the Putumayo area near the headwaters of the Amazon. The rubber company accused was controlled by British interests who sent representatives to accompany him. His health eventually broke down in 1913 and he retired to Ireland where he exercised his lifelong interest in nationalism. Home Rule for Ireland was being drawn up by the British Parliament and as a reaction against this, an armed force called the Ulster Volunteers had been raised in the Protestant North of Ireland, which feared domination by a government in the Catholic South. Sir Edward Carson, the prominent English barrister and Sir Frederick E. Smith, both M.P.s, led this threatened rebellion. (Ironically, it was Smith who, as Attorney General, led the prosecution against Casement later.) The nationalists then raised a similar force called the Irish Volunteers in support of Home Rule, and Casement, with others, went to America to consult with Irish-American leaders. The First World War broke out while he was there and Casement was asked to go to Germany to persuade the Kaiser’s government to recognise Irish independence should they, win the war. He was also to raise among Irishmen interned as British prisoners-of-war a body of Irish Volunteers to take back with him to fight in the Rising then being planned.
Side Two: His mission failed. The Germans tried to use him for their own purposes and only one prisoner rallied to his call. Disheartened he persuaded the Germans to supply a cargo of rifles and to return himself, an Irish agent called Robert Monteith and his one Volunteer, Bailey, by submarine to Ireland.
He landed on Banna Strand in Tralee Bay and was captured by police later that day. He was conveyed to England under a false name and put in the Tower of London. He was arraigned at Bow Street and later tried at the Old Bailey. While awaiting execution, Casement joined the Roman Catholic Church and the night before his death had visits from a priest. W. McBURNEY


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