100 years ago on this day, Holy Thursday 1916, The “Aud”, carrying a cargo of arms, arrived in Tralee Bay expecting contact with the Irish Volunteers. The Aud stayed in the area for almost 24 hours. She was eventually spotted by British patrol ship “Setter” and, under escort to Cork Harbour, she was scuttled by Karl Spindler, her captain.
Meanwhile Roger Casement, having arrived by German U-Boat, came ashore at Banna Strand accompanied by Captain Robert Monteith who was previously involved with the recruitment of Irishmen in German P.O.W. camps. Casement took refuge in a ring fort in a field near Ardfert, while Monteith made his way to Tralee.
Here is a very rare piece of history from Source, our digital archive, kindly digitally donated by the Allen Library; the map used by Casement on his ill-fated journey. The cover of the map shows seawater damage, and it is inscribed by Robert Monteith himself:
“This map was the property of Sir Roger Casement and was used by us in planning our route to Tralee after we failed to meet the pilot boat in Tralee Bay. It was stained by sea water when our boat overturned and was later found by the police. It was given [to] me in 1949 by Justice Gavan Duffy”
Kommandant Irische Brigade
Map showing the Kerry coast
NCOs of the Irish Brigade in Zossen P.O.W. camp showing the distinctive German uniforms which incorporated harp and shamrock elements in their design.
(Irish Brigade Photo courtesy of Mercier Press)