Thousands turn out to remember 'great Irish patriot' Roger Casement at capture point near Banna Strand
Thousands turned out to remember Roger Casement on Banna Strand this afternoon for a State ceremony to mark the 100 year anniversary of his capture near the North Kerry beach.
In the early hours of Good Friday morning on April 21st, 1916 Casement, with travelling companions Robert Monteith and Daniel Bailey, arrived at the strand on a U-boat hoping to meet with the German ship the Aud which had carried 20,000 rifles into Tralee Bay for the Rising.
But the ship was intercepted, the plot foiled and Casement, who was in ill-health, was caught and later executed in the Tower of London.
President Higgins told the crowds that “Roger Casement was not just a great Irish patriot but also a great founding humanitarian of the 20th century.”
He talked of Casement's astonishing conversion over just five years where he went from receiving a knighthood from the King to being executed for high treason.
Over 100 members of the Defence Forces participated in the event with the Irish air corp providing a fly-over and a wreath laid by President Higgins at the original anchor of the Aud which stands by the strand.
Earlier in the day a ceremony also took place at Ballykissane Pier near Killorglin where three volunteers lost their lives when their car plunged into icy waters after they’d taken a wrong turn on Good Friday, 1916.
Charles Monahan, Con Keating and Donal Sheahan were the first fatalities of the 1916 Rising.