UlsterIn the north, through his sister, Nina, in Portrush, and his close friends in London, Robert Wilson Lynd, Robert Lynd and Sylvia Lynd, Sylvia Dryhurst, Casement was drawn into the orbit of Francis Joseph Bigger.O'Toole, Tina (2016)
America and GermanyIn July 1914, Casement journeyed to the United States to promote and raise money for the Volunteers among the large and numerous Irish community there. Through his friendship with men such as , a member both of the Volunteers and of the secret (IRB), Casement established connections with exiled Irish nationalists, particularly '' Clan na Gael''. Elements of the suspicious ''Clan'' did not trust Casement completely, as he was not a member of the IRB and held views they considered too moderate but others, such as John Quinn, regarded him as extreme. Devoy, initially hostile to Casement for his part in conceding control of the Irish Volunteers to , was won over in June, and Joseph McGarrity, another ''Clan'' leader, became devoted to Casement and remained so from then on. The Howth gun-running in late July 1914, which Casement had helped to organise and (with a loan from Alice Stopford Green) finance, further enhanced his reputation. In August 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Casement and John Devoy arranged a meeting in New York with the western hemisphere's top-ranking German diplomat, Count Bernstorff, to propose a mutually beneficial plan: if Germany would sell guns to the Irish revolutionaries and provide military leaders, the Irish would revolt against England, diverting troops and attention from the war with Germany. Bernstorff appeared sympathetic. Casement and Devoy sent an envoy, ''Clan na Gael'' president John Kenny, to present their plan personally. Kenny, while unable to meet the , did receive a warm reception from the German ambassador to Italy Hans von Flotow, and from Prince von Bülow. In October 1914, Casement sailed for Germany via Norway, traveling in disguise and seeing himself as an ambassador of the Irish nation. While the journey was his idea, ''Clan na Gael'' financed the expedition. During their stop in Christiania, his companion Adler Christensen was taken to the British legation, where a reward was allegedly offered if Casement were "knocked on the head". British diplomat Mansfeldt Findlay, in contrast, advised London that Christensen had "implied that their relations were of an unnatural nature and that consequently he had great power over this man". Findlay provided no evidence to support this insinuation. Findlay's handwritten letter of 1914 is kept in University College, Dublin, and is viewable online. This letter—written on official notepaper by Minister Findlay at the British Legation in Oslo—offers to Christensen the sum of £5,000 plus immunity from prosecution and free passage to the United States in return for information leading to the capture of Roger Casement. That amount would be approximately £2,616,000 in 2014. In November 1914, Casement negotiated a declaration by Germany which stated:
The Imperial Government formally declares that under no circumstances would Germany invade Ireland with a view to its conquest or the overthrow of any native institutions in that country. Should the fortune of this Great War, that was not of Germany's seeking, ever bring in its course German troops to the shores of Ireland, they would land there not as an army of invaders to pillage and destroy but as the forces of a Government that is inspired by goodwill towards a country and people for whom Germany desires only national prosperity and national freedom.Casement spent most of his time in Germany seeking to recruit an Irish Brigade from among more than 2,000 Irish prisoners-of-war taken in the early months of the war and held in the prison camp of Limburg an der Lahn. His plan was that they would be trained to fight against Britain in the cause of Irish independence. American Ambassador to Germany James W. Gerard mentioned the effort in his memoir "Four Years in Germany":
The Germans collected all the soldier prisoners of Irish nationality in one camp at Limburg not far from Frankfurt a. M. There efforts were made to induce them to join the German army. The men were well treated and were often visited by Sir Roger Casement who, working with the German authorities, tried to get these Irishmen to desert their flag and join the Germans. A few weaklings were persuaded by Sir Roger who finally discontinued his visits, after obtaining about thirty recruits, because the remaining Irishmen chased him out of the camp.On 27 December 1914 Casement signed an agreement in Berlin to this effect with in the German Foreign Office, renouncing all his titles in a letter to British Foreign Secretary dated 1 February 1915. Fifty-two of the 2000 prisoners volunteered for the Brigade. Contrary to German promises, they received no training in the use of machine guns, which at the time were relatively new and unfamiliar weapons. During World War I, Casement is known to have been involved in the German-backed plan by Indians to win their freedom from the , the " Hindu–German Conspiracy", recommending Joseph McGarrity to as an intermediary. The Indian nationalists may also have followed Casement's strategy of trying to recruit prisoners of war to fight for Indian independence.Plowman, Matthew Erin. "Irish Republicans and the Indo–German Conspiracy of World War I", ''New Hibernia Review'' 7.3 (2003), pp. 81–105. Both efforts proved unsuccessful. In addition to finding it difficult to ally with the Germans while held as prisoners, potential recruits to Casement's brigade knew they would be liable to the death penalty as traitors if Britain won the war. In April 1916, Germany offered the Irish 20,000 1891 rifles, ten s and accompanying ammunition, but no German officers; it was a fraction of the quantity of the arms Casement had hoped for, with no military expertise on offer. Casement did not learn about the until after the plan was fully developed. The German weapons never landed in Ireland; the intercepted the ship transporting them, a German cargo vessel named the '' Libau'', disguised as a Norwegian vessel, ''Aud-Norge''. All the crew were German sailors, but their clothes and effects, even the charts and books on the bridge, were Norwegian. As had either misunderstood or disobeyed Pearse's instructions that the arms were under no circumstances to land before Easter Sunday, the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union (TGWU) members set to unload the arms under the command of officer and trade unionist William Partridge were not ready. The IRB men sent to meet the boat drove off a pier and drowned. The British had intercepted German communications coming from Washington and suspected that there was going to be an attempt to land arms at Ireland, although they were not aware of the precise location. The arms ship, under Captain Karl Spindler, was apprehended by HMS ''Bluebell'' on the late afternoon of Good Friday. About to be escorted into Queenstown (present-day Cobh), on the morning of Saturday 22 April, Captain Spindler scuttled the ship by pre-set explosive charges. Its surviving crew became prisoners of war.
Landing and captureCasement confided his personal papers to Dr Charles Curry, with whom he had stayed at Riederau on the , before he left Germany. He departed with Robert Monteith and Sergeant Daniel Beverley (Bailey) of the Irish Brigade in a , initially the , which developed engine trouble, and then the , shortly after the ''Aud'' sailed. According to Monteith, Casement believed the Germans were toying with him from the start and providing inadequate aid that would doom a rising to failure. He wanted to reach Ireland before the shipment of arms and to convince Eoin MacNeill (who he believed was still in control) to cancel the rising. Casement sent John McGoey, a recently arrived Irish-American, through Denmark to Dublin, ostensibly to advise what military aid was coming from Germany and when, but with Casement's orders "to get the Heads in Ireland to call off the rising and merely try to land the arms and distribute them". McGoey did not reach Dublin, nor did his message. His fate was unknown until recently. Evidently abandoning the Irish Nationalist cause, he joined the in 1916, survived the war, and later returned to the United States, where he died in an accident on a building site in 1925. In the early hours of 21 April 1916, three days before the rising began, the German submarine put Casement ashore at Banna Strand in Tralee Bay, County Kerry – the boat used is now in the in London. Suffering from a recurrence of the malaria that had plagued him since his days in the Congo, and too weak to travel, he was discovered by a sergeant of the at McKenna's Fort, an ancient ring fort in Rahoneen, now renamed Casement's Fort. They arrested Casement on charges of high treason, sabotage and against the Crown. He sent word to Dublin about the inadequate German assistance. The Kerry Brigade of the might have tried to rescue him over the next three days, but its leadership in Dublin held that not a shot was to be fired in Ireland before the was in train and therefore ordered the Brigade to "do nothing" – a subsequent internal inquiry attached "no blame whatsoever" to the local Volunteers for failing to attempt a rescue. "He was taken to Brixton Prison to be placed under special observation for fear of an attempt of suicide. There was no staff at the f Londonto guard suicidal cases."
Trial and executionAt Casement's ensuing highly publicised trial for high treason, the prosecution had trouble arguing its case. Casement's crimes had been carried out in Germany and the seemed to apply only to activities carried out on English (or arguably British) soil. A close reading of the Act allowed for a broader interpretation: the court decided that a comma should be read in the unpunctuated original Norman-French text, crucially altering the sense so that "in the realm or elsewhere" referred to where acts were done and not just to where the "King's enemies" might be. Afterwards, Casement himself wrote that he was to be "hanged on a comma", leading to the well-used . During his trial, the prosecution ( F. E. Smith), who had admired some of Casement's work before he went over to the Germans, informally suggested to the defence barrister ( A. M. Sullivan) that they should jointly produce what are now called the " Black Diaries" in evidence, as this would most likely cause the court to find Casement "guilty but insane" and save his life. Casement refused to agree to this and was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. Before and during the trial and appeal, the British government secretly circulated some excerpts from Casement's journals, exposing Casement as a "sexual deviant". These included numerous explicit accounts of sexual activity. This aroused public opinion against him and influenced those notables who might otherwise have tried to intervene. Given societal norms and the illegality of homosexuality at the time, support for Casement's reprieve declined in some quarters. The journals became known in the 1950s as the ''Black Diaries'' and are still in the National Archives, whilst most of the other exhibits from the trial are in the Crime Museum in London. Casement unsuccessfully appealed against his conviction and death sentence. Those who pleaded for clemency for Casement included , who was acquainted with Casement through the work of the Congo Reform Association, poet W. B. Yeats, and playwright . Joseph Conrad could not forgive Casement, nor could Casement's longtime friend, the sculptor Herbert Ward, whose son Charles had been killed on the Western Front that January, and who would change the name of Casement's godson, who had been named after him. Members of the Casement family in Antrim contributed discreetly to the defence fund, although they had sons in the British Army and Navy. A appeal against the death sentence was rejected by the British cabinet on the insistence of prosecutor F. E. Smith, an opponent of Irish independence. Casement's knighthood was forfeited on 29 June 1916. On the day of his execution by at Pentonville Prison, 3 August 1916, Casement was received into the Catholic Church at his request. He was attended by two Catholic priests, Dean Timothy Ring and Father James Carey, from the East London parish of SS Mary and Michael. The latter, also known as James McCarroll, said of Casement that he was "a saint ... we should be praying to him asementinstead of for him". At the time of his death he was 51 years old.
State funeralCasement's body was buried in in the prison cemetery at the rear of Pentonville Prison, where he had been hanged, though his last wish was to be buried at Murlough Bay on the north coast of , in present-day . During the decades after his execution, successive British governments refused many formal requests for repatriation of Casement's remains. For example, in September 1953 , on a visit to in Downing Street, requested the return of the remains.'De Valera Rule, 1932–75' by David McCullagh; Gill Books 2018 Churchill said he was not personally opposed to the idea but would consult with his colleagues and take legal advice. He ultimately turned down the Irish request, citing "specific and binding" legal obligations that the remains of executed prisoners could not be exhumed. De Valera disputed the legal advice and responded: De Valera received no reply. Finally, in 1965 Casement's remains were repatriated to . Despite the annulment, or withdrawal, of his knighthood in 1916, the 1965 UK Cabinet record of the repatriation decision refers to him as "Sir Roger Casement". Contrary to Casement's wishes, Prime Minister 's government had released the remains only on condition that they could ''not'' be brought into Northern Ireland, as "the government feared that a reburial there could provoke Catholic celebrations and Protestant reactions."
The ''Black Diaries''British officials have claimed that Casement kept the '' Black Diaries'', a set of diaries covering the years 1903, 1910 and 1911 (twice). Jeffrey Dudgeon, who published an edition of all the diaries said, "His homosexual life was almost entirely out of sight and disconnected from his career and political work". If genuine, the diaries reveal Casement was a who had many partners, had a fondness for young men and mostly paid for sex. In 1916 after Casement's conviction for high treason, the British government circulated alleged photographs of pages of the diary to individuals campaigning for the commutation of Casement's death sentence. At a time of strong conservatism, not least among Irish Catholics, publicising the ''Black Diaries'' and Casement's alleged homosexuality undermined support for him. The question of whether the diaries are genuine or forgeries has been much debated. The diaries were declassified for limited inspection (by persons approved by the Home Office) in August 1959. The original diaries may be seen at the British National Archives in . Historians and biographers of Casement's life have taken opposing views. Roger McHugh (in 1976) and Angus Mitchell (in 2000 and later) regard the diaries as forged. In 2012, Mitchell published several articles in the ''Field Day Review'' of the .
The Giles ReportIn 2005 the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin published ''The Giles Report'', a private report on the ''Black Diaries'' written in 2002. Two US forensic-document examiners reviewed the Giles Report; both were critical of it. James Horan stated, "As editor of the ''Journal of Forensic Sciences'' and ''The Journal of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners'', I would not recommend publication of the Giles Report because the report does not show how its conclusion was reached. To the question, 'Is the writing Roger Casement's?' on the basis of the Giles Report as it stands, my answer would have to be I cannot tell." Marcel Matley, a second document examiner, stated, "Even if every document examined were the authentic writing of Casement, this report does nothing to establish the fact." A very brief expert opinion in 1959 by a Home Office employee failed to identify Casement as author of the diaries. This opinion is almost unknown and does not appear in the Casement literature. As late as July 2015 the UK National Archives ambiguously described the ''Black Diaries'' as "attributed to Roger Casement", while at the same time unambiguously declaring their satisfaction with the result of the private Giles Report.
Llosa and DudgeonMario Vargas Llosa presented a mixed account of Casement's sexuality in his 2010 novel, '' The Dream of the Celt'', suggesting that Casement wrote partially fictional diaries of what he wished had taken place in homosexual encounters. Dudgeon suggested in a 2013 article that Casement needed to be "sexless" to fit his role as a Catholic martyr in the nationalist movement of the time. Dudgeon writes, "The evidence that Casement was a busy homosexual is in his own words and handwriting in the diaries, and is colossally convincing because of its detail and extent."
Landmarks, buildings and organisations* Casement Park, the ground on Andersonstown Road in west . * Several clubs, for instance Roger Casements GAA Club ( , England), Brampton Roger Casements GAC ( , Canada) and Roger Casements GAC ( , Northern Ireland) * Gaelscoil Mhic Easmainn (Irish for Casement) is an Irish speaking national school in , County Kerry * In there is an estate named after him in Árd Easmuinn, Casement Heights. * in Baldonnel, the Irish Air Corps base near Dublin. * Casement Rail and Bus Station in , near the site of Casement's landing on Banna Strand. Operated by and Córas Iompair Éireann * In Cork, an estate is named Roger Casement Park after him in Glasheen, a western suburb of the city. * In Clonakilty, Co.Cork, a street and adjacent estate is named in his honour. * A monument at Banna Strand in Kerry is open to the public at all times. * A statue of him is erected in Ballyheigue, Co.Kerry * A statue of him stands in Dún Laoghaire harbour. * Many streets are named for him, including Casement Road, Park, Drive and Grove in , County Dublin. * In Harryville, , , there is a Casement Street, named for his great-grandfather, who was a solicitor there.
Representation in cultureCasement has been the subject of ballads, poetry, novels, and TV series since his death, including: * The ballad " Lonely Banna Strand" telling the story of Casement's role in the prelude to the , his arrest, and his execution. * used Casement as an inspiration for the character of Lord John Roxton in the 1912 novel, '' The Lost World''. * W. B. Yeats wrote a poem,''The Ghost of Roger Casement'', demanding the return of Casement's remains, with the refrain, "The ghost of Roger Casement/Is beating on the door" * Roger Casement is featured in '' '' (1922) by Pierre Benoit, who portrays him as a noble martyr. * refers to Casement and the 1916 Uprising in her 1941 novel '' N or M?'' * Brendan Behan, in his '' Borstal Boy'' (1958), speaks of the respect his family had for Casement. * Casement is the subject of the play ''Prisoner of the Crown'', which was written by and Richard Stockton; it premiered at the Abbey Theatre in on 15 February 1972 * A German TV series, '' Sir Roger Casement'' (1968), was made about his time in Germany during . * In 1973 aired a critically acclaimed radio play by David Rudkin entitled '' Cries from Casement as His Bones are Brought to Dublin'' * '' The Dream of the Celt'' by Mario Vargas Llosa (winner of the Nobel Prize for literature) is an historical novel based on Roger Casement's life, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman and published in 2012. * American Noise Rock band ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead released an instrumental entitled "The Betrayal of Roger Casement & the Irish Brigade" on their 2008 ''Festival Thyme'' EP * ''Dying for Ireland'' (2012) is a biographical novel by Alan Lewis, which presents a "fictional reimagining" of Casement's prison memoirs, based on his writings, histories and biographies. * A one-act play, ''Shall Roger Casement Hang?'', based mainly on his interrogation at Scotland Yard, was performed for the first time at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow in May 2016. * ''The Trial of Roger Casement'' is a graphic novel by Fionnuala Doran * Roger Casement is discussed in W. G. Sebald's novel '' The Rings of Saturn''. * ''Valiant Gentlemen'' is an historical novel based on Casement's friendship with Herbert Ward and his wife Sarita Sanford, by Sabina Murray, Grove/Atlantic, 2016. * ''Roger Casement – Heart of Darkness'' (1992) is a documentary by Kenneth Griffith on the life of Roger Casement.Welsh film-maker fascinated by Irish history
BibliographyBy Roger Casement: * 1910. ''Roger Casement's Diaries: 1910. The Black and the White''. Sawyer, Roger, ed. London: Pimlico. * 1910. ''The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement''. Mitchell, Angus, ed. Anaconda Editions. * 1911. 'Sir Roger Casement's Heart of Darkness: The 1911 Documents' Mitchell, Angus, ed., Irish Manuscripts Commission. * 1914. ''The Crime against Ireland, and How the War May Right it''. Berlin: no publisher. * 1914. ''Ireland, Germany and Freedom of the Seas: A Possible Outcome of the War of 1914''. New York & Philadelphia: The Irish Press Bureau. Reprinted 2005: * 1914–16 'One Bold Deed of Open Treason: The Berlin Diary of Roger Casement', Mitchell, Angus ed., Merrion * 1915. ''The Crime against Europe. The Causes of the War and the Foundations of Peace''. Berlin: The Continental Times. * 1916. ''Gesammelte Schriften. Irland, Deutschland und die Freiheit der Meere und andere Aufsätze''. Diessen vor München: Joseph Huber Verlag. Second expanded edition, 1917. * 1918. ''Some Poems''. London: The Talbot Press/T. Fisher Unwin. ''Secondary Literature, and other materials cited in this entry'': * Daly, Mary E., ed. 2005. ''Roger Casement in Irish and World History,'' Dublin, Royal Irish Academy * Doerries, Reinhard R., 2000. ''Prelude to the Easter Rising: Sir Roger Casement in Imperial Germany''. London & Portland. Frank Cass. * Dudgeon, Jeffrey, 2002. ''Roger Casement: The Black Diaries with a Study of his Background, Sexuality and Irish Political Life''. Belfast Press (includes first publication of 1911 diary); 2nd paperback and Kindle editions, 2016; 3rd paperback and Kindle editions, 2019, . * Dudgeon, Jeffrey, July 2016. ''Roger Casement's German Diary 1914–1916 including 'A Last Page' and associated correspondence''. Belfast Press, . * Goodman, Jordan