Local Connection with Casement Commemoration

Castleisland man, Commandant Tommy Martin speaking at the Roger Casement Commemoration in Glasnevin Cemetery.

The State Commemoration to mark 100 years since the execution of Roger Casement which was held at Glasnevin Cemetery recently had a strong, local connection with Tommy Martin taking a key role in the event. 

Tommy, who is a Commandant in the Army Reserve, was given the honour of reading extracts from Casements’ trial, as part of the ceremony.

“As someone who is very interested in Irish history, and in the period 1914-1924 in particular, I was delighted to be asked to take part in the State Commemoration for Roger Casement. I read extracts from Casement’s trial, including the plea, the charge, the verdict, and the passing of sentence, as part of the military ceremony,” Tommy said – explaining his role in the event.

Memorable Year

“As with everyone in the Defence Forces, it has been a busy, but very memorable year for me, taking part in the many ceremonial events to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, beginning with the Easter Parade in Dublin, and culminating with the State Commemoration for Roger Casement recently.”

“It was also very special to have the President attend at Banna Strand in April, when the people of Kerry paid their own tribute to Roger Casement. The troops who took part in the Guard of Honour that day, were from the 12th Infantry Battalion, my own unit, and I had the great pleasure of delivering a lecture to them on the life of Roger Casement, as part of preparations for the event in Banna.

Complex Figure

“I have always thought that the complex figure that is Roger Casement, would make a great subject for a film. In Ireland, he is less well-known than the other leaders of the Rising, but outside of Ireland, he is very well known for his humanitarian work. This aspect of his life was very central to the State Commemoration in Glasnevin, as was the key role he played as a leader and founding father of the Irish Volunteers. I thought it very poignant to be at the graveside of such an important figure in Irish, and indeed World history, wearing the uniform of the country he helped to create,” said Tommy.

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