Cork Examiner 02.03.1965 Roger Casement Laid to rest

Cork Examiner 02. March 1965 Sir Roger Casement Laid to rest

Sir Roger Casement Sir Roger Casement laid to rest

On the 1st of March 1965: Roger Casement's body was re-interred in Glasnevin Cemetery. The Taoiseach Sean Lemass only announced this surprise move some days previously when he stated in Leinster House that:
"I am very glad to announce to the Dáil that I have been informed by the British Prime Minister that his Government have recently decided to meet out request for the repatriation of the remains of Roger Casement." "As Deputies are aware, it was Casement's express wish that he should have his final resting place in Ireland, and it has long been the desire of the people of Ireland, shared by successive Irish Governments, that this wish be fulfilled."

A State funeral was immediately organised. Thus on a cold and sleety day Casement’s remains were brought out to Glasnevin for burial. President Eamon De Valera, against Doctors orders, took the stand to deliver a televised address to the Nation. He said that:

"It required courage to do what Casement did, and his name would be honoured, not merely here, but by oppressed peoples everywhere, even if he had done nothing for the freedom of our own country."

While this was something of a coup to get the British to release Casement’s body his dying wish was that he should be laid to rest in his beloved County Antrim and not in Dublin City.

Read below for an extract from the Cork Examiner 02 March 1965

Nature itself, it seemed, joined in the final tribute to Sir Roger Casement  yesterday. Snow fell heavily from leaden skies. Suddenly there was a blinding flash of lightning followed by a loud clap of thunder. Ten tall military policemen marched steadily across Glasnevin Cemetery to a rectangle of green beige and laid their  burden down. Solemn prayers were recited. A sharp volley cracked out. Clarion bugles sounded, and in the distance, big guns boomed their tribute. The storm of half a century was over, and the legendary Irish patriot was laid to rest in his native soil.

Bareheaded, despite the snow and the bitter cold, President de Valera mounted the exposed rostrum, and said that even if there had been no 1916 rising, the man whose bones lay there would deserve to be honoured and revered. "We claim him, and we are glad to have him back among us," said Mr. de Valera, and at his words, the glory of the historic occasion was emblazoned across dreary day, and another chapter in 'Irish history was brought to a fitting climax.

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