Sir Roger Casement on the Ottomans and Armenians in Britain’s Great War

Patrick Walsh


The paper explores the reasons why Sir Roger Casement, the internationally famous humanitarian and future central figure in the 1916 Rising, took the hostile attitude he did to the Armenian cause and why he regarded the presentation of the events of 1915 merely as war propaganda. Casement was a complex character and not just a simple nationalist opposing British policy in the world from an Irish Republican position. It is argued that whilst Casement’s transition from servant of Empire to Irish Republican anti-imperialist had an undoubted effect on his political stance, it was Casement’s view of the Great War, in representing the moral collapse of Liberalism, that most fundamentally determined his attitude to the Armenians and how he viewed the events of 1915.

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