Featured Article

Introduction: "The ghost of Roger Casement is beating on the door"

Author: John Gibney, Michael Griffin, and Brian Ó Conchubhair

Comments

 Issue Contents:

Casement: Crusader and Cultural Commentator

1. Catherine Thewissen and Pierre Luc-Plasman – The Three Lives of the Casement Report: Its Impact on Official Reactions and Popular Opinion in Belgium

2. Margaret O’Callaghan – Ireland, Empire, and British Foreign Policy: Roger Casement and the First World War…

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The Three Lives of the Casement Report: Its Impact on Official Reactions and Popular Opinion in Belgium

Author: Pierre-Luc Plasman (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) and Catherine Thewissen (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium)

Comments

Abstract

In 1903 British consul Roger Casement writes his report—known as the Casement Report—that exposed the brutal treatment of the indigenous population in the Congo Free State (1885-1908). The report publicly denounced the atrocious systems of the rubber terror which forced Africans to extract the rubber from lianas to the profit of the State or concessionaries. Published in Great Britain in 1904, the report caused great outrage. The impact of the report in Belgium, however, has been so far underexplored. William Roger Louis mentions the importance of this report to the end of King Léopold’s regime and to Belgium’s takeover of the Congo. This position, however, is contested by Jules Marchal, who has stated in his work that “the king had not to fear a reaction from the Belgian public who showed little interest in the Congo.” None of these studies, however, have looked in depth at the impact of the publication of the Casement Report on the official reactions and on popular opinion in Belgium. This paper seeks to do just that.…

Read More

Ireland, Empire, and British Foreign Policy: Roger Casement and the First World War

Author: Margaret O'Callaghan (Queen's University, Belfast)

Comments

The parliamentary party should drop forever from the vocabulary of nationality the names of Wolfe Tone, the men of 98, Robert Emmet and the men of 48 and the fenians—not to speak of Red Hugh etc etc—the great British democracy does not understand the allusions in any case. They should substitute Cromwell, Raleigh, Good Queen Bess, Pitt and Lord John Russell.…

Read More

Casement and the Irish Language: Ruairí Mac Easmainn agus an Ghaeilge

Author: Nollaig Mac Congáil (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Comments

The Language that to-day no Irishman may employ in any public service without fine, or penalty, or loss of some kind, shall, in God’s good time, become again—“as sacred as the Hebrew, as learned as the Greek, as fluent as the Latin, as courteous as the Spanish, as court-like as the French.”—Roger Casement, “The Language of the Outlaw”[1]

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The Afterlife of Roger Casement’s Irish Brigade, 1916-1922

Author: Justin Dolan Stover (Idaho State University)

Comments

Introduction

Roger Casement remains one of the key figures of the 1916 Easter Rising despite being marginalized from its planning and absent during the fighting. Casement’s intended contribution of arms and ammunition never reached Ireland. The Irish Brigade he recruited from Prisoners of War (POWs) in Germany also failed. All but two of its members remained in Germany during Easter week. Casement was arrested shortly after washing ashore at Banna Strand in Tralee, County Kerry. He was detained in the Tower of London, faced trial, and was subsequently executed in August 1916. Evidence given at this trial and in concurrent newspaper reports fail to detail and explain the motivations of the men who joined the Irish Brigade, and his death in 1916 provides an inadequate conclusion to the Brigade episode. Who were the men of the Irish Brigade? Why did they join Casement, and how might their experiences be understood within the broader contexts of small cultural armies formed during the Great War, and of nationalist loyalty?…

Read More

Roger Casement and America

Author: Robert Schmuhl (University of Notre Dame)

Comments

For the average American trying to keep up with world affairs in 1916, Roger Casement was the most prominent and intriguing figure involved in the Easter Rising. Indeed, reports of his capture—the first accounts appeared Tuesday, April 25th, one day after the Rising began, with The Los Angeles Times getting off on the wrong foot with the headline “Sir Robert Arrested”—initiated coverage in the U.S. of what The Washington Post

Read More

Guns in the Water: Quilty’s Car, Spindler’s Aud, and the First Casualties of the Easter Rising of 1916

Author: Eoin Shanahan (Hibernia College)

Comments

John Joe Quilty's Briscoe (Image Courtesy of Australian Jesuit Archive, Melbourne)

On Easter Monday of 1916, as Seán McDermott and Joseph Plunkett moved through the streets of Dublin for a date with destiny, The Freeman’s Journal reached the newsstands with reports from Kerry of two sensational events. In Killorglin, the bodies of two men had been recovered from the River Laune after their car had driven off Ballykissane Pier on Good Friday night. Each of the men had been in possession of a revolver, some ammunition, and a Sinn Féin badge. The second report brought news of the discovery of a collapsible boat on a Kerry beach, a large quantity of arms and ammunition, and the arrest of “[…] a stranger of unknown nationality who refused to divulge his identity.”[1]

Read More

From Fragments to a Whole: Homosexuality and Partition in Cries from Casement as his Bones are Brought to Dublin, by David Rudkin

Author: Mariana Bolfarine (University of São Paulo)

Comments

Abstract

The radio play Cries from Casement as his Bones are Brought to Dublin (1974), by David Rudkin, an English playwright of Irish parentage, draws together polemical subjects such as homosexuality and British imperial policy in Ireland. This article focuses on two main aspects of the trajectory of the Irish revolutionary Roger Casement: it aims first to pinpoint the way in which the character of the metafictional Author

Read More

History and Imagination in The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa

Author: Leopoldo M. Bernucci (University of California, Davis)

Comments

The epigraph before the beginning of Mario Vargas Llosa’s biographical novel The Dream of the Celt has the effect of an implacable judgment:

Each one of us is, successfully, not one but many. And these successive personalities that emerge one from the other tend to present the strangest, most astonishing contrasts among themselves.…

Read More

Crocodiles and Obelisks: The Literary Afterlife of Roger Casement in the Work of Jamie McKendrick and W.G. Sebald

Author: Eoin Flannery (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick)

Comments

I

In a 1997 essay on the “posthumous” life of Roger Casement, Lucy McDiarmid suggests that “Nothing about Casement has ever been stable, definitive, determinate, ‘official,’ except the fact that he was hanged. Posthumous Casement, like living Casement, has endured in a blur of rumor, gossip, romance, and innuendo, public pronouncements and private uncertainty.”[1]

Read More

Roger Casement’s Long Journey to Ballyheigue

Author: Michael Cronin (Boston College)

Comments

Casement's Statue (Image Courtesy of the Author)

Oisín Kelly’s statue commemorating the life of Sir Roger Casement has stood in Ballyheigue, County Kerry, since September 1984. In the same way that Casement’s life and legacy have proved deeply divisive (especially his diaries), so the question of where the Casement statue, originally commissioned in 1967, should be erected also proved problematic.[1]

Read More

Lost to History: An Assessment and Review of the Casement Black Diaries

Author: Paul Hyde

Comments

"Nothing[1] that has taken place should be lost to history.”—Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History”[2]

Roger Casement was a pioneer investigator of the abuse of human rights and today we are all heirs to his moral legacy. Before his execution in 1916, his international prestige was comparable to that later enjoyed by Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. Today his reputation is still controversial essentially because of his active commitment to radical Irish nationalism and the notorious “Black Diaries.” The controversies have distorted the deeper significance of Casement’s pioneering work, which was his revelation of a causal nexus between imperialism and the abuse of human rights. That deeper significance is what has been lost to history. And something else has been lost—the human rights of Roger Casement.…

Read More

How It Is Recording Atrocity in The Black Diaries: Uncanny Echoes of Casement in Beckett’s Prose

Author: Scott Eric Hamilton (University College Dublin)

Comments

In 1959, Grove Press published The Black Diaries: An Account of Roger Casement’s Life and Times with a Collection of his Diaries and Public Writings. Edited by Peter Singleton-Gates and Maurice Girodias, The Black Diaries, in essence, is a biographical exegesis of Roger Casement. Its core re-presents Casement’s complete 1903 Congo and 1910 Putumayo reports intertwined with his controversial personal diaries while conducting his investigations. The Black Diaries

Read More

A Note on the Casement Papers in the Benjamin Iveagh Library, Farmleigh House, Dublin

Author: John Gibney

Comments

John Gibney was Visiting Research Fellow in Marsh’s Library, Dublin, in April 2013. He would like to thank Jason McElligott,  Julia Cummins and Maria O’Shea for their assistance. Click here to learn more about the Benjamin Iveagh Library at Farmleigh.

 

The Roger Casement archive is voluminous, if scattered. Large collections of his papers are retained in repositories such as the National Library of Ireland, but Casement material can be found in a variety of other locations, including the Benjamin Iveagh Library in Dublin’s Farmleigh House, on the edge of the Phoenix Park. Farmleigh, which is now owned by the Irish state, was originally built in the eighteenth century before being bought and extensively redeveloped by the Guinness family. The library of Benjamin Guinness, 3rd Earl of Iveagh (1937-1992) was donated to Marsh’s Library in 2009 and is still retained in Farmleigh. It holds a small but coherent collection of papers relating to Casement, some of which were purchased at auction in February 1985. The collection mainly comprises letters written by Casement to a number of individuals; copies of some of this material are retained in both the National Library of Ireland and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.[1]

Read More

Casement (An Original Screenplay)

Author: John Banville, with an introduction by Bridget English

Comments

Roger Casement’s life has all the marks of a great biopic: as a member of the British Foreign Service, he was knighted for his reports of human rights violations in the Congo and Peru, but then became critical of empire, aligning himself with the Irish nationalist cause before being hung for high treason after betraying Britain by colluding with the Germans during World War I. Casement has been the topic of over thirty biographies, numerous books, poems, and articles—including a poem by W.B Yeats, a novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, and an RTÉ radio drama by Patrick Mason starring Ciarán Hynes—but strangely, not a feature film. The cinematic potential of Casement’s life has not gone unnoticed by Irish writer John Banville and filmmaker/novelist Neil Jordan, who attempted to get a film made in 2001. Despite the obvious popular interest in the topic, the film was never realized and the screenplay has not appeared in print until now, a good fifteen years after it was written.…

Read More

The Dreaming of Roger Casement: A Play

Author: Patrick Mason

Comments

Part One. Scene 1.

Darkness. Drumming. Figures gather in the murk. A shaft of light reveals Casement, standing apart from the others.

CASEMENT.  The System. That’s what he called it. The penal laws, the brutal clearances, the savage reprisals—all part of the System. Barely a week into my investigation, I could make no sense of the cruelty I had witnessed. I was bewildered by all I had seen and heard. But he was calm, measured—an old Africa hand, the German Consul General. “It’s the only language they understand: regrettable, of course, but the most effective way for a colony to prosper. Belgian, British, French or German—whatever Empire you serve, you’ll find the System to be the same. Villages burned, land seized, crops and minerals plundered, the people displaced–their culture destroyed. The price of Civilization as we know it.  And not without some benefit to the natives in the long run.”…

Read More

Casement: The What and Why of Commemoration in 2016

Author: Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh (NUI Galway)

Comments

It is unlikely that historians will be shocked by the forecast that “many 1916s” will be commemorated during the centenary year of 2016. This forecast does not refer exclusively to the obviously politically sensitive issue (sensitive for Northern Ireland’s stability and for stable north-south relations) of having the Easter Rising of 1916 and the battle of the Somme of July 1916 suitably marked as, in a sense, “foundation sacrifice” dates for the two states in Ireland. The British and Irish governments, it may be assumed, will be anxious to observe a form of mutual acknowledgment and respect with regard to these critical anniversaries, to soften their significance as key references for mutually exclusive and essentialist versions of identity—Irish and British.…

Read More

How Can the People of 2016 Best Commemorate Roger Casement’s Ideals and Work?

Author: Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D.

Comments

This is the text of a lecture delivered by Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D. at Tionóil Mhic Easmainn, Tralee, Co. Kerry on September 4, 2015 regarding Casement’s importance and relevancy for Ireland in 2016. Born 1950, Ó Cuív has represented Fianna Fáil in the Galway West constituency since 1992. He has served as Government Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands; Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Minister for Social Protection; Minister for Defence and Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Ministry for Social Protection.

Read More

Angus Mitchell, In Conversation with John Gibney

Author: Angus Mitchell, with John Gibney

Comments

John Gibney: First things first: what got you interested in the subject of Casement?

Angus Mitchell: Well, John, I was living in Brazil, and I attended the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, where I got interested in the fate of the Amazon rainforest, and began to read the environmental history of the region and came across a whole series of references to Casement. I knew he’d been consul in Brazil, but little was known about his time there and I wanted to try and retrieve him into the narrative of Brazilian history in a more substantive way. Initially, I concentrated on that period when he had served in Brazil as Consul General. And that took me to archives across Latin America. I spent a long time in Lima, Peru, looking at the extensive repository of land claims of those families and farmers who had emigrated into the Amazon in the late nineteenth century to start extracting rubber. I worked for several months at the Palácio do Itamaraty

Read More

A Review of Angus Mitchell's Roger Casement: 16 Lives

Author: Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh (NUI Galway)

Comments

Angus Mitchell. Roger Casement: 16 Lives. Dublin: The O’Brien Press Dublin, 2013. 414pp.

On March 1, 1965, the bones of Roger Casement, buried in quicklime in the grounds of Pentonville prison after he was hanged for treason in August 1916, were returned to Ireland for reinterment in Glasnevin cemetery. The President of Ireland, Éamon de Valera, rose from his sickbed to welcome home the remains. In a moving graveside address, he called to mind his own brief incarceration in Pentonville in 1917, awaiting release with other republican prisoners:…

Read More

Current Articles

Introduction: "The ghost of Roger Casement is beating on the door"

Author: John Gibney, Michael Griffin, and Brian Ó Conchubhair

Comments

 Issue Contents:

Casement: Crusader and Cultural Commentator

1. Catherine Thewissen and Pierre Luc-Plasman – The Three Lives of the Casement Report: Its Impact on Official Reactions and Popular Opinion in Belgium

2. Margaret O’Callaghan – Ireland, Empire, and British Foreign Policy: Roger Casement and the First World War…

Read More

The Three Lives of the Casement Report: Its Impact on Official Reactions and Popular Opinion in Belgium

Author: Pierre-Luc Plasman (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) and Catherine Thewissen (Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium)

Comments

Abstract

In 1903 British consul Roger Casement writes his report—known as the Casement Report—that exposed the brutal treatment of the indigenous population in the Congo Free State (1885-1908). The report publicly denounced the atrocious systems of the rubber terror which forced Africans to extract the rubber from lianas to the profit of the State or concessionaries. Published in Great Britain in 1904, the report caused great outrage. The impact of the report in Belgium, however, has been so far underexplored. William Roger Louis mentions the importance of this report to the end of King Léopold’s regime and to Belgium’s takeover of the Congo. This position, however, is contested by Jules Marchal, who has stated in his work that “the king had not to fear a reaction from the Belgian public who showed little interest in the Congo.” None of these studies, however, have looked in depth at the impact of the publication of the Casement Report on the official reactions and on popular opinion in Belgium. This paper seeks to do just that.…

Read More

Ireland, Empire, and British Foreign Policy: Roger Casement and the First World War

Author: Margaret O'Callaghan (Queen's University, Belfast)

Comments

The parliamentary party should drop forever from the vocabulary of nationality the names of Wolfe Tone, the men of 98, Robert Emmet and the men of 48 and the fenians—not to speak of Red Hugh etc etc—the great British democracy does not understand the allusions in any case. They should substitute Cromwell, Raleigh, Good Queen Bess, Pitt and Lord John Russell.…

Read More

Casement and the Irish Language: Ruairí Mac Easmainn agus an Ghaeilge

Author: Nollaig Mac Congáil (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Comments

The Language that to-day no Irishman may employ in any public service without fine, or penalty, or loss of some kind, shall, in God’s good time, become again—“as sacred as the Hebrew, as learned as the Greek, as fluent as the Latin, as courteous as the Spanish, as court-like as the French.”—Roger Casement, “The Language of the Outlaw”[1]

Read More

The Afterlife of Roger Casement’s Irish Brigade, 1916-1922

Author: Justin Dolan Stover (Idaho State University)

Comments

Introduction

Roger Casement remains one of the key figures of the 1916 Easter Rising despite being marginalized from its planning and absent during the fighting. Casement’s intended contribution of arms and ammunition never reached Ireland. The Irish Brigade he recruited from Prisoners of War (POWs) in Germany also failed. All but two of its members remained in Germany during Easter week. Casement was arrested shortly after washing ashore at Banna Strand in Tralee, County Kerry. He was detained in the Tower of London, faced trial, and was subsequently executed in August 1916. Evidence given at this trial and in concurrent newspaper reports fail to detail and explain the motivations of the men who joined the Irish Brigade, and his death in 1916 provides an inadequate conclusion to the Brigade episode. Who were the men of the Irish Brigade? Why did they join Casement, and how might their experiences be understood within the broader contexts of small cultural armies formed during the Great War, and of nationalist loyalty?…

Read More

Roger Casement and America

Author: Robert Schmuhl (University of Notre Dame)

Comments

For the average American trying to keep up with world affairs in 1916, Roger Casement was the most prominent and intriguing figure involved in the Easter Rising. Indeed, reports of his capture—the first accounts appeared Tuesday, April 25th, one day after the Rising began, with The Los Angeles Times getting off on the wrong foot with the headline “Sir Robert Arrested”—initiated coverage in the U.S. of what The Washington Post

Read More

Guns in the Water: Quilty’s Car, Spindler’s Aud, and the First Casualties of the Easter Rising of 1916

Author: Eoin Shanahan (Hibernia College)

Comments

John Joe Quilty's Briscoe (Image Courtesy of Australian Jesuit Archive, Melbourne)

On Easter Monday of 1916, as Seán McDermott and Joseph Plunkett moved through the streets of Dublin for a date with destiny, The Freeman’s Journal reached the newsstands with reports from Kerry of two sensational events. In Killorglin, the bodies of two men had been recovered from the River Laune after their car had driven off Ballykissane Pier on Good Friday night. Each of the men had been in possession of a revolver, some ammunition, and a Sinn Féin badge. The second report brought news of the discovery of a collapsible boat on a Kerry beach, a large quantity of arms and ammunition, and the arrest of “[…] a stranger of unknown nationality who refused to divulge his identity.”[1]

Read More

From Fragments to a Whole: Homosexuality and Partition in Cries from Casement as his Bones are Brought to Dublin, by David Rudkin

Author: Mariana Bolfarine (University of São Paulo)

Comments

Abstract

The radio play Cries from Casement as his Bones are Brought to Dublin (1974), by David Rudkin, an English playwright of Irish parentage, draws together polemical subjects such as homosexuality and British imperial policy in Ireland. This article focuses on two main aspects of the trajectory of the Irish revolutionary Roger Casement: it aims first to pinpoint the way in which the character of the metafictional Author

Read More

History and Imagination in The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa

Author: Leopoldo M. Bernucci (University of California, Davis)

Comments

The epigraph before the beginning of Mario Vargas Llosa’s biographical novel The Dream of the Celt has the effect of an implacable judgment:

Each one of us is, successfully, not one but many. And these successive personalities that emerge one from the other tend to present the strangest, most astonishing contrasts among themselves.…

Read More

Crocodiles and Obelisks: The Literary Afterlife of Roger Casement in the Work of Jamie McKendrick and W.G. Sebald

Author: Eoin Flannery (Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick)

Comments

I

In a 1997 essay on the “posthumous” life of Roger Casement, Lucy McDiarmid suggests that “Nothing about Casement has ever been stable, definitive, determinate, ‘official,’ except the fact that he was hanged. Posthumous Casement, like living Casement, has endured in a blur of rumor, gossip, romance, and innuendo, public pronouncements and private uncertainty.”[1]

Read More

Roger Casement’s Long Journey to Ballyheigue

Author: Michael Cronin (Boston College)

Comments

Casement's Statue (Image Courtesy of the Author)

Oisín Kelly’s statue commemorating the life of Sir Roger Casement has stood in Ballyheigue, County Kerry, since September 1984. In the same way that Casement’s life and legacy have proved deeply divisive (especially his diaries), so the question of where the Casement statue, originally commissioned in 1967, should be erected also proved problematic.[1]

Read More

Lost to History: An Assessment and Review of the Casement Black Diaries

Author: Paul Hyde

Comments

"Nothing[1] that has taken place should be lost to history.”—Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History”[2]

Roger Casement was a pioneer investigator of the abuse of human rights and today we are all heirs to his moral legacy. Before his execution in 1916, his international prestige was comparable to that later enjoyed by Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King. Today his reputation is still controversial essentially because of his active commitment to radical Irish nationalism and the notorious “Black Diaries.” The controversies have distorted the deeper significance of Casement’s pioneering work, which was his revelation of a causal nexus between imperialism and the abuse of human rights. That deeper significance is what has been lost to history. And something else has been lost—the human rights of Roger Casement.…

Read More

How It Is Recording Atrocity in The Black Diaries: Uncanny Echoes of Casement in Beckett’s Prose

Author: Scott Eric Hamilton (University College Dublin)

Comments

In 1959, Grove Press published The Black Diaries: An Account of Roger Casement’s Life and Times with a Collection of his Diaries and Public Writings. Edited by Peter Singleton-Gates and Maurice Girodias, The Black Diaries, in essence, is a biographical exegesis of Roger Casement. Its core re-presents Casement’s complete 1903 Congo and 1910 Putumayo reports intertwined with his controversial personal diaries while conducting his investigations. The Black Diaries

Read More

A Note on the Casement Papers in the Benjamin Iveagh Library, Farmleigh House, Dublin

Author: John Gibney

Comments

John Gibney was Visiting Research Fellow in Marsh’s Library, Dublin, in April 2013. He would like to thank Jason McElligott,  Julia Cummins and Maria O’Shea for their assistance. Click here to learn more about the Benjamin Iveagh Library at Farmleigh.

 

The Roger Casement archive is voluminous, if scattered. Large collections of his papers are retained in repositories such as the National Library of Ireland, but Casement material can be found in a variety of other locations, including the Benjamin Iveagh Library in Dublin’s Farmleigh House, on the edge of the Phoenix Park. Farmleigh, which is now owned by the Irish state, was originally built in the eighteenth century before being bought and extensively redeveloped by the Guinness family. The library of Benjamin Guinness, 3rd Earl of Iveagh (1937-1992) was donated to Marsh’s Library in 2009 and is still retained in Farmleigh. It holds a small but coherent collection of papers relating to Casement, some of which were purchased at auction in February 1985. The collection mainly comprises letters written by Casement to a number of individuals; copies of some of this material are retained in both the National Library of Ireland and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.[1]

Read More

Casement (An Original Screenplay)

Author: John Banville, with an introduction by Bridget English

Comments

Roger Casement’s life has all the marks of a great biopic: as a member of the British Foreign Service, he was knighted for his reports of human rights violations in the Congo and Peru, but then became critical of empire, aligning himself with the Irish nationalist cause before being hung for high treason after betraying Britain by colluding with the Germans during World War I. Casement has been the topic of over thirty biographies, numerous books, poems, and articles—including a poem by W.B Yeats, a novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, and an RTÉ radio drama by Patrick Mason starring Ciarán Hynes—but strangely, not a feature film. The cinematic potential of Casement’s life has not gone unnoticed by Irish writer John Banville and filmmaker/novelist Neil Jordan, who attempted to get a film made in 2001. Despite the obvious popular interest in the topic, the film was never realized and the screenplay has not appeared in print until now, a good fifteen years after it was written.…

Read More

The Dreaming of Roger Casement: A Play

Author: Patrick Mason

Comments

Part One. Scene 1.

Darkness. Drumming. Figures gather in the murk. A shaft of light reveals Casement, standing apart from the others.

CASEMENT.  The System. That’s what he called it. The penal laws, the brutal clearances, the savage reprisals—all part of the System. Barely a week into my investigation, I could make no sense of the cruelty I had witnessed. I was bewildered by all I had seen and heard. But he was calm, measured—an old Africa hand, the German Consul General. “It’s the only language they understand: regrettable, of course, but the most effective way for a colony to prosper. Belgian, British, French or German—whatever Empire you serve, you’ll find the System to be the same. Villages burned, land seized, crops and minerals plundered, the people displaced–their culture destroyed. The price of Civilization as we know it.  And not without some benefit to the natives in the long run.”…

Read More

Casement: The What and Why of Commemoration in 2016

Author: Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh (NUI Galway)

Comments

It is unlikely that historians will be shocked by the forecast that “many 1916s” will be commemorated during the centenary year of 2016. This forecast does not refer exclusively to the obviously politically sensitive issue (sensitive for Northern Ireland’s stability and for stable north-south relations) of having the Easter Rising of 1916 and the battle of the Somme of July 1916 suitably marked as, in a sense, “foundation sacrifice” dates for the two states in Ireland. The British and Irish governments, it may be assumed, will be anxious to observe a form of mutual acknowledgment and respect with regard to these critical anniversaries, to soften their significance as key references for mutually exclusive and essentialist versions of identity—Irish and British.…

Read More

How Can the People of 2016 Best Commemorate Roger Casement’s Ideals and Work?

Author: Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D.

Comments

This is the text of a lecture delivered by Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D. at Tionóil Mhic Easmainn, Tralee, Co. Kerry on September 4, 2015 regarding Casement’s importance and relevancy for Ireland in 2016. Born 1950, Ó Cuív has represented Fianna Fáil in the Galway West constituency since 1992. He has served as Government Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands; Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Minister for Social Protection; Minister for Defence and Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and Ministry for Social Protection.

Read More

Angus Mitchell, In Conversation with John Gibney

Author: Angus Mitchell, with John Gibney

Comments

John Gibney: First things first: what got you interested in the subject of Casement?

Angus Mitchell: Well, John, I was living in Brazil, and I attended the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, where I got interested in the fate of the Amazon rainforest, and began to read the environmental history of the region and came across a whole series of references to Casement. I knew he’d been consul in Brazil, but little was known about his time there and I wanted to try and retrieve him into the narrative of Brazilian history in a more substantive way. Initially, I concentrated on that period when he had served in Brazil as Consul General. And that took me to archives across Latin America. I spent a long time in Lima, Peru, looking at the extensive repository of land claims of those families and farmers who had emigrated into the Amazon in the late nineteenth century to start extracting rubber. I worked for several months at the Palácio do Itamaraty

Read More

A Review of Angus Mitchell's Roger Casement: 16 Lives

Author: Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh (NUI Galway)

Comments

Angus Mitchell. Roger Casement: 16 Lives. Dublin: The O’Brien Press Dublin, 2013. 414pp.

On March 1, 1965, the bones of Roger Casement, buried in quicklime in the grounds of Pentonville prison after he was hanged for treason in August 1916, were returned to Ireland for reinterment in Glasnevin cemetery. The President of Ireland, Éamon de Valera, rose from his sickbed to welcome home the remains. In a moving graveside address, he called to mind his own brief incarceration in Pentonville in 1917, awaiting release with other republican prisoners:…

Read More