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Roger Casement’s Execution

August 3, 2014

Roger Casement anniversary



Today is the 98th anniversary of the execution of (Sir) Roger Casement. Casement achieved fame exposing some of the most horrific abuses ever associated with a monarchy – King Leopold of Belgium’s tyrannical regime in the Congo – which converted a huge chunk of southern Africa into a vast blood drenched slave driven rubber factory.  The atrocities of the Congo illustrated, for Casement, what can happen when an entire people are entrusted to the tender mercies of a foreign ruler.

His experiences led to a passionate belief in national sovereignty and to the idea that governments should be derived from and accountable to, their own people. His own Irish republicanism led to his involvement with the 1916 rising. When tried, convicted and sentenced to death by a British court, his remarkable and powerful speech from the dock focused on the injustice of someone being accused of treason to anything other…

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