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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 4 Mar 1936

Vol. 60 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Roger Casement's Remains.

asked the President whether his attention was directed to the announcement published in the Irish Times on 17th December last to the effect that an official of the British Dominions Office stated to newspaper representatives that his Department heard nothing of any application being made for permission to remove the remains of the late Roger Casement from the precincts of. Pentonville Prison, London; whether in fact any application was made either officially or unofficially on behalf of any interest in this country to the British authorities for permission to remove these remains for reinterment in Ireland; and, if so, whether he will indicate the outcome of such representations, and whether, if no such representations were made he will now direct that formal application be made for the permission indicated.

My attention was drawn to the announcement referred to in the question. Prior to the publication of that announcement, as I informed the Deputy on the 5th December last, I had made certain inquiries and taken certain steps with a view to the repatriation of the remains of Roger Casement. Subsequently, a formal request was made to the British Government. I regret to say that that request has been refused.

Might I ask if any reasons were given for refusing?

There were reasons given. The main reason was that it was the invariable custom not to interfere with graves.

If the President can assure the British Government that a Christian burial will be afforded the remains in this country, will he take steps to reopen the matter with the British Government?

I should very much like to reopen the matter, if I saw any hope whatever of success.

Will the President at least protest against the display of this spirit of vengeance towards the dead?