Saturday 10 December 2016

Last executed 1916 Rising leader is commemorated in State ceremony

Robin Schiller

Published 04/08/2016 | 02:30

Denise Mulvihill, from Lucan, holds an anti-tank missile launcher while being assisted by Corporal Gerry Walsh of the 3rd Batallion. Photo: Brian Lawless
Denise Mulvihill, from Lucan, holds an anti-tank missile launcher while being assisted by Corporal Gerry Walsh of the 3rd Batallion. Photo: Brian Lawless

The Tricolour hung at half mast as a minute's silence was observed for the last leader of the 1916 Rising to be executed by the British empire.

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Roger Casement, a humanitarian who spent much of his life in the Congo exposing abuse, was honoured at a State ceremony at Glasnevin Cemetery yesterday morning.

Niall Casement and Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan lay wreaths at the ceremony to honour Roger Casement in Glasnevin cemetery. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Niall Casement and Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan lay wreaths at the ceremony to honour Roger Casement in Glasnevin cemetery. Photo: Gerry Mooney

The commemorative service, one of many to take place across the country this week, was held exactly 100 years after Casement died by hanging after being found guilty of treason.

His remains were eventually repatriated back to Ireland in 1965, where he was given a State funeral.

The event was attended by Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and Niall Casement, a relative of the Easter Rising leader.

The ceremony included a wreath-laying service with a military colour party followed by a minute's silence to commemorate Casement.

A reading of the trial documents relating to the plea from the accused were also read out. Roger Casement's relative Niall described the ceremony as a "very special tribute", adding that he was "deeply honoured" to have been a part of it.

"It did justice to his life, he was obviously a very complex individual who had many facets to his career and work, and I think this really captured it," he said.

The Irish Defence Forces also held a public event to mark the anniversary of Casement's death.

The 'Roger Casement Humanitarian Open Day' was held in Baldonnel Airfield in west Dublin.

Among those in attendance was TD Joe McHugh, Minister for the Diaspora, who gave an impassioned speech about the importance of international humanitarian work.

Irish Independent

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