WW1 Heritage / The Casement Project - 14-18 NOW
14-18 NOW / Programme / 2016 / The Casement Project / WW1 Heritage / The…

The Casement Project


Image credit: Matthew Thompson.

WW1 Heritage / The Casement Project

Sir Roger Casement

Born in Dublin in 1864 to a Catholic mother and a Protestant father (a British Army captain), Roger Casement left school at 16 and took a job as a shipping clerk in Liverpool. He eventually built a career as a high-ranking diplomat, winning renown and respect by exposing slavery and other human rights abuses in the Congo and Peru. For his work on behalf of Putumayo Indians in the Peruvian Amazon, Casement was knighted in 1911.

Two years later, apparently by then mistrustful of British imperialism, Casement retired from the diplomatic service and returned to Ireland, where he immediately dedicated himself to the Irish nationalist cause. A member of Sinn Féin since 1905, Casement helped to establish a military organisation named the Irish Volunteers in 1913, then approached German diplomats with an unlikely proposal. If Germany supplied weapons and military assistance to the republicans, Casement and his fellow revolutionaries would launch an attack on the English establishment, diverting British military force away from the First World War. After the Germans agreed to help, Casement travelled to Germany and attempted to recruit Irish prisoners of war into a new nationalist army, the Irish Brigade.

In April 1916, German forces attempted to smuggle weapons into Ireland, but the British intercepted the ship and the weapons never arrived. When Casement then attempted to return to Ireland in a German submarine, just three days before his fellow revolutionaries were due to launch the Easter Rising, he was arrested, locked up in the Tower of London and charged with treason. Found guilty and exposed as a homosexual when authorities published what they claimed were his private diaries, Casement was executed at Pentonville Prison on 3 August 1916. He was 51 years old.


Roger Casement

Roger Casement

You May Also Like


Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Contagion

National tour

A powerful new dance work inspired by the rapid spread of the deadly Spanish flu pandemic, which killed millions when it emerged in 1918.

Find Out More


London / Edinburgh

Akram Khan, the revered British dancer-choreographer, explores the experience of an Indian colonial soldier at war in his last ever solo performances.

Find Out More
Across and In-Between

Suzanne Lacy Across and In-Between

Northern Ireland

The pioneering American visual artist worked with communities from both sides of the Irish border on a new project exploring identity and individuality.

Find Out More
These Rooms

Anu and Coiscéim Dance Theatre These Rooms


An intense, immersive blend of theatre, dance and visual art that revisits the North King Street Massacre, a controversial flashpoint during Dublin’s 1916 Easter Rising.

Find Out More