Roger Casement statue unveiled and will stand in Dún Laoghaire

Sculptor Mark Richards secured commission following local authority competition

The Roger Casement statue. Photograph: Peter Cavanagh

The Roger Casement statue. Photograph: Peter Cavanagh

 

Standing almost 10ft in height, an imposing bronze statue of Roger Casement, one of south Dublin’s most famous historical sons, was finally unveiled on Friday.

The jetty at Dún Laoghaire Baths, once completed, will host the towering figure.

As a champion of independence, Casement was forever sealed in the Irish imagination following his execution for treason in the aftermath of the Easter Rising.

He was famed too for exotic adventure – investigating human rights abuses in the Belgian Congo and conditions along the Peruvian rubber plantations – but his roots as a Sandycove native have finally secured him a permanent home along the southern coastline.

“[It was] one of the most challenging pieces I have encountered; I set out to convey the complex character of Roger Casement in a composition that suggests elements of his remarkable story,” said sculptor Mark Richards, who secured the commission following a competition by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

Casement’s undoing

Casement was born in Sandycove on September 1st, 1864, the youngest of four children to his Church of Ireland father, Roger snr, and Catholic mother, Anne. The family later moved to Co Antrim.

He joined the British colonial service in 1892, but his mission to secure German support for the Rising became his undoing. Casement was arrested on his return to Ireland, landing from a German submarine at Banna Strand, Co Kerry.

He was hanged for treason at Pentonville Prison in London, aged 51. Irish governments had long sought the repatriation of his remains for burial, which finally came to pass in 1965.

Marking the unveiling of his statue on Friday, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council noted that his last sight of Ireland had been from the boat departing its harbour, not far from his place of birth.

Cathaoirleach Úna Power reflected on “undoubtedly one of the most interesting Irish men of the late 19th and early 20th centuries”.