On Wednesday 3 August 2016 a special event took place in the Casement Aerodrome in Baldonnel, Co. Dublin, between 11 am and 5 pm to commemorate the life and legacy and, particularly, the humanitarian work of Roger Casement. Casement was a prominent diplomat, and was knighted by the British for his service in the Colonial Office. He dedicated his early career to humanitarian efforts in Africa and South America, where the spectres of slavery and exploitation ran rampant among the impoverished native populations. Back in Ireland, as a member of the Gaelic League, Casement would put his Irish nationalist sentiments into action by helping to form the Irish Volunteers. He raised money, established overseas connections, brought in arms, and assisted in the writing of their manifesto. When he was caught by British forces at Banna Strand following a botched gun-running operation, the Rising was a mere three days away. Imprisoned in London, Casement was tried and convicted of treason, and was executed on 3 August 1916.
Highlights of the day included a new 30-panel exhibition on the Casement; a live re-enactment of Casement’s speech from the dock; exhibitions stands from Irish Aid; NGOs and UN Peacekeepers; a moderated panel discussion on Irish humanitarians in the world today; heritage and modern capability displays from the Army and Air Corps, and a family zone and picnic area with street food vendors and tours of the Air Corps museum.
The event was free and open to the public. Follow this link for further information about the programme.