Casement boat to go on display for first time in over 90 years
Published 14/04/2016 | 02:30
The wooden collapsible boat that brought Roger Casement ashore to Banna Strand will go on public display for the first time in more than 90 years.
It is the first time it has been in this country since 1916 and was last on public display at an exhibition at London's Imperial War Museum in 1924.
The flat-bottomed boat, which measures 12' x 4' and is about two feet high, is on loan to Kerry Museum and will form part of its Casement Exhibition, which will open next Thursday.
Curator of the exhibition Helen O'Carroll said it was a major coup to get the boat, which has been verified as the original vessel used by Casement, Robert Monteith and Daniel Daly.
Casement was captured on Banna Strand in Co Kerry on April 21, 2016, after attempting to land arms for Irish republicans from the German vessel the Aud. He was later tried for treason and hanged in August 1916.
"The three of them were left off from the German U-boat and would have got into this boat and rowed to shore. It's a tiny little boat for three men to fit in," Ms O'Carroll said. "In 1916 it was sent over to London, more or less as a trophy of war and presented by the inspector general of the RIC to the king, as if to show this was what they had done to capture the traitor Casement."
The boat went on display at the Imperial War Museum until 1924 and was then held in storage. Ms O'Carroll saw it in the museum's catalogue.
"It took a while to make sure it was the right boat, but I think there's no doubt that this is the original boat," she added.