A German ship, the Aud is discovered off the coast of Kerry with a reported shipment of up to 20,000 rifles for Irish rebels who were planning the 1916 Easter Rising (three days later). The crew scuttled the ship and spent the rest of the war in captivity. Meanwhile the U-19, failing to find the ‘Aud Norge’, eventually landed Casement, Monteith and Bailey by dinghy. The dinghy overturned in surf on Banna Strand, near Ardfert. Casement had been ill for some time before the journey and was far too weak to travel or run. He took refuge in ‘McKenna’s Fort’ while Bailey and Monteith tried to make contact with the local IRB. However the local Irish constabulary were alerted Casement was arrested, as were Monteith and Bailey, shortly afterwards.
Casement was taken to London were he was subsequently tried and convicted of treason, sabotage and espionage against the Crown on 29 June 1916 – he appealed but it was turned down and he was hung at Pentonville Prison on 3 August 1916.
The wooden collapsible boat that brought patriot Roger Casement ashore to Banna Strand is currently on loan to the Kerry museum on public display. It is the first time it’s been in this country since 1916 and was last on public display in the mid 1920s at an exhibition at London’s Imperial War Museum. In 1916 it was sent over to London, more or less as a trophy of war and presented by the inspector general of the RIC to the king, as if to show this was what they had done as their bit in the Rising to capture the traitor Casement.
Photo: Memorial at McKenna’s Fort to mark the landing of Sir Roger Casement, Robert Monteith, and Daniel Bailey in 1916