September 13, 1914

On this day in 1914, Irish nationalist Sir Robert Casement met with German leader Franz von Papen in the U.S., in an effort to win support for Ireland’s quest for independence from Britain. Born in Dublin in 1864 and founder of the Irish National Volunteers, Casement travelled to the U.S. to gain support for his organization. He failed to gain American support, so turned to Von Papen instead, suggesting that an Irish Brigade fight alongside the Germans in WWI. Von Papen turned down Casement’s suggestion and the Irish did not ally with the Germans. Instead, the 1916 Easter Rising took place without aid. Casement was tried for treason by the British and was executed on August 3, 1916, but he is still remembered as a hero of Irish nationalism.

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