Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Conspiracy trials in Ireland

Here is an old podcast from RTE, that I picked up and enjoyed listening to one of the episodes: Conspiracy Podcast. There are four historical discussions about political trials in Ireland. I picked up the one about the trials after the 1916 Easter Rising. (feed)

Irish separatists knew that what was bad for England was good for Ireland's strive for Independence. In 1916 the British Empire was severely entangled in the Great War and even though Irish separatists had no special love for opponent Germany, there was some flirting with the enemy. One of the trialled men, Roger Casement tried to obtain some help, or promises for support from Germany. Whether German support really mattered or not, during Easter 1916 a half-hearted and destined to fail attempt for a rebellion was started.

Not only did this imply treason for the participants, it also meant that the likes such as Casement had been collaborating with the enemy and this was, in war time, a capital offense. The podcast briefly discusses the rising itself and then pays most of its attention to the way the participants cases were handled, before, during, after and outside the trial. Especially interesting I found the discussion about the publication of Casement's diaries, but in this podcast there is much more to be had.