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God Save Ireland!

 by Steve Payne

Author says: what if the Irish patriot, poet, revolutionary, and nationalist Roger Casement had escaped his miscarrigage of justice? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

On June 29th 1916,

Please click the icon to follow us on Squidoo.on this day the liberal journalist Henry W. Nevinson shouted out "God save Ireland!" from the back of the Old Bailey when the Irish patriot, poet, revolutionary, and nationalist Roger Casement was acquitted of treason.

Nevertheless, he was stripped of his British Honours; in 1911, Casement had been knighted by George V as Knight Bachelor for his efforts on behalf of the Amazonian Indians, having been reluctantly appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1905 for his Congo work.

Unsuprisingly, no honours would be forthcoming for his work on behalf of the Irish.

Because his involvement in the "Irish Plan" was unquestioned; during his time in Germany (pictured) he recruited an "Irish Brigade" consisting of Irish prisoners-of-war in the prison camp of Limburg an der Lahn, who would be trained to fight against Britain.

"I maintain that I have a natural right to be tried in that natural jurisdiction, Ireland my own country"Unfortunately for the prosecution team, it seemed that the medieval Treason Act applied only to activities carried out on English soil. And they failed to convince the court that the inclusion of a comma in the text widened the scope to include "in the realm or elsewhere" meaning where acts were done and not just where the "King's enemies" may be. And so the court decided that Casement was not to be "hanged by a comma".

Among the many people who pleaded for his clemency were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who became acquainted with Casement through the work of the Congo Reform Association, W. B. Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. Edmund Dene Morel could not visit him in jail, being under attack for his pacifist position. Although the outcome of the case upheld the honour of the judicial system, the consequences for the British War Effort would be huge.

Encouraged by Casement his supporters would take their arguments to the United States where they would cause immense difficulties for the American politicians seeking to enter the war on the Allied side.


Author says in reality he was hanged at Pentonville Prison in London on 3 August 1916, at the age of 51. He was received into the Catholic Church while awaiting execution and went to his death, he said, with the body of his God as his last meal. Nevison decided that, in the end, he would remain silent. Might he be imprisoned for saying such a thing? As he was English, did he even have a right to say it? Perhaps the Irish would take against him? To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Squidoo, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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