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Casement, having held divers high appointments under the British Crown, having been knighted for his services, and having retired on a pension, upon the outbreak of hostilities proceeded to Germany where he was actively employed in inciting the Irish prisoners of war to join the German arms against England.
The frustration of his attempt to run men, arms and ammunition with a view to raising a rebellion in Ireland reads more like some tale of strange adventure than sober history. The speech by Casement from the dock after conviction is one of the most dramatic in the annals of British procedure.