#OTD in 1916 – Sir Roger Casement, Irish Nationalist and British diplomat is sentenced to death for his part in the Easter Rising.

“If today when all Europe is dying for national ends, whole people marching down with songs of joy to the valley of eternal night, we alone stand by idle and moved only to words, then we are in truth the most contemptible of all the people in Europe.” –Sir Roger Casement

Sir Roger Casement was found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death. On 30th June he was stripped of his knighthood and on 24th July an appeal was rejected. A campaign for a reprieve was supported by leading political and literary figures, including W. B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, and Arthur Conan Doyle, but the British public, primarily concerned by the large loss of life on the Western Front, were unmoved by this campaign.

Roger Casement was executed at Pentonville Prison on 3rd August 1916. John Ellis, his executioner, called him “the bravest man it ever fell to my unhappy lot to execute”.

Image: Mural of Roger Casement located at Casement Park in west Belfast

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