A group of school kids from the city of Chicago paid a recent trip to the unfulfilled resting place of Roger Casement in Murlough Bay. Oak Park High School in Illinois was on a fact-finding mission in North Antrim last week to unearth the secrets of Irish Republican leaders from the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
“Casement was not drawn from the archetypical background of Irish Republican leaders of his era but his humanitarian actions at the behest of the Crown in highlighting first, the slave labour of the indigenous people of the Belgian Congo and later, theabuses against the Putumayo Indians of Peru ensured his rejection of Imperialism and his Anglo-Irish identity in favour of simply – Irishman.“His attempts to procure arms for the Easter Rising in 1916 saw Casement charged with treason and hanged in Pentonville Prison, London. His executioner, John Ellis, said of Casement: ‘He was the bravest man it ever fell to my unhappy lot to execute’.
“I hope the area can continue its links with the school and we have more opportunities to work with groups in the future. As well as learning about political history the young adults enrolled at the James Joyce summer school in University College Dublin and had the opportunity to delve into Ireland’s rich vein of literature”.
“They researched Casement and other Irish historical leaders and presented in groups in a pre-trip seminar. They then connected the map to the landscape while in Antrim. It was a transformative experience for the pupils.“We hope to continue our links with the people of Moyle and the Glens and we look forward to returning in the future”.