William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

(23 February 1965)

Sir Roger Casement: 1864-1916
Sir Roger Casement: 1864-1916
The Brits hung Sir Roger Casement, an Irish hero of 16
‘cause he brought in guns bought from the Huns
For Ireland’s Freedom, Sir Roger was keen
and Ireland was Ireland when England was a pup
And Ireland will be Ireland when England’s all blew up
and you’ll be dust and I’ll be rust in a hundred years to come
Was a ditty sung by Irish lads as they marched forth with the gun
Irish fighters used the gun – but by negotiations freedom was won
By his patriotic actions Sir Roger sealed his own fate
in a fight and a quest to achieve a Free State
Sir Roger Casement earned what is a folklore hero’s fame
causing each and every Irishman to revere his sacred name!

Author’s Note: The Dubliner and great Irish Nationalist (patriot), Sir Roger Casement’s body was brought back to Ireland from England and reburied on the 23rd of February 1965. Eighty Two year old Eamon de Valera gave the Irish patriot a graveside oration. I remember my dad saying Sir Roger, when hung, went straight to heaven and he later met up with the Big Fella (Mick Collins) and the comrades of 16.

Grandpa, medically discharged because of Malaria, from the Royal Irish Rifles, worked as a town cop in Lismore. My dad was born in Lismore in 1916 – Grandpa died young but at 6 years of age, dad heard the valiant tales of the quest for the Irish Free State. On a trip to Ireland in the 1980’s dad showed us the bullet holes from the black and tans in the doorsill over Grandpa’s door. His sister, my Aunt Peg, and he were out after curfew and were fired at by black and tan troops from Lismore Castle.

Eamon de Valera was a friend of the Gallaghers and the Bibles (my Grandmother was Bridgit Bible before marriage), and the families had been in Boston together, years before. Dad was put into an orphanage with the nuns after his Father’s death and he came to Canada at age 13. But he spoke about De Valera and Mick Collins as if it was yesterday.

Dad is buried under an Irish Harp Stone in Lanark Ontario, Canada having left seven sons and two daughters to mourn his passing.

Slan Dad,