26/08/16

Ireland’s distinguished record in promoting sustainable development the focus of special commemorative event for Roger Casement

On Wednesday 3rd August, Ireland 2016, Irish Aid and the Defence Forces will mark Roger Casement’s contribution to international human rights by hosting a special open day at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, from 11am to 5pm.

This special event, which takes place on the anniversary of Casement’s execution in Pentonville Prison, offers a unique opportunity for the public to have access to the air force base, where Casement’s body was flown back to Ireland in 1965. Normally closed to the public, the area will be transformed for the occasion with market stalls, picnic areas, play areas for children and a whole host of activities for young and old to enjoy. Military vehicles, vintage aircraft and rare memorabilia will be on display throughout the day, as well as special military capability displays by members of the Air Corps and Defence Forces.

A specially curated programme of exhibitions and talks on Casement, with a special focus on his legacy as an international humanitarian, will take place throughout the day. Guest speakers from some of Ireland’s most respected development agencies will participate in a panel discussion, hosted by broadcaster Sean O’Rourke, on the issues and challenges facing those working in international human rights today.

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh T.D., who will attend today’s event said:

“Many events have already taken place to commemorate Roger Casement, both in Ireland and across the globe facilitated by our Embassy network. The interest displayed in remembering Casement’s life and legacy is testament to the impact he had in fighting for the human rights of those forgotten and marginalised by the powers that be. Today we celebrate his legacy as an international humanitarian.

Casement’s desire to address inequality in the world has been shared by generations of Irish people. The Government’s Irish Aid programme has its roots in Ireland’s missionary tradition and for many decades Irish Aid has provided help to the most vulnerable in the world. Ireland also has a strong record in UN peacekeeping, and we are known for promoting human rights.

As we remember Casement’s legacy today, I want to also pay tribute to members of the Irish diaspora who are making real contributions to overseas development and to members of the Defence Forces currently serving overseas on UN peacekeeping missions.”

The ‘Casement: A Revolutionary Journey’ exhibition will be on view, which features unique artefacts from Casement’s missions abroad and audiences will be brought back in time to hear a live performance of extracts from his famous speech from the dock.

The following agencies and organisations will have information stands at the event: Irish Aid, Tearfund Ireland, Kimmage Development Studies, Habitat for Humanity Ireland, Irish Red Cross, World Vision Ireland, UNICEF Ireland, Trócaire, Gorta Self-Help Africa, Plan International, A Partnership with Africa, Oxfam Ireland, Comhlámh.

Tickets for this special event were snapped up as soon as they were made available, with over 5,000 registered to attend on the day.  Unfortunately, due to limited capacity on the site, all available tickets have been allocated.

Ends

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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