Commemoration for Sir Roger Casement held at Banna Strand

Casement unsuccessfully tried to import guns for the Easter Rising

Sir Roger Casement, 1916, commemoration, Banna Strand, Kerry, Michael D Higgins

Sir Roger Casement, who was executed for treason in 1916 at Pentonville Prison, and whose remains were disinterred in 1965 and buried in Ireland after requests from the Irish government | Image: PA / PA Archive/Press Association Images

A State commemoration for Sir Roger Casement has taken place in Co Kerry.

President Michael D Higgins attended the event at Banna Strand, to mark the arrival of Casement and others 100 years ago today.

Casement and his travelling companions - Robert Monteith and Daniel Bailey - arrived at the stand in the early hours of Good Friday 1916.

Casement, Monteith and Bailey came ashore having left a German U-boat, which transported them from Germany.

Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich and Mike Hanrahan perform 'Lonely Banna Strand' | Image via @ireland2016 on Twitter

An attempt to rendezvous with The Aud - which was carrying 20,000 guns for use in the Easter Rising - had failed.

Casement, who was unwell, remained behind at McKenna's Fort - while Monteith and Bailey walked to Tralee to alert the local volunteer leadership.

Casement was arrested and taken to jail in England. He was tried for treason, found guilty and hanged on August 3rd 1916 at Pentonville Prison.

The ceremony heard a keynote address from President Higgins, and featured the laying of a wreath by the president at the anchor of The Aud - which was recovered from Cork Harbour several years ago.

Mr Higgins praised his contribution to Irish freedom.

"Roger Casement was not just a great Irish patriot, he was also one of the great humanitarians of the early 20th century", he said.

"A man who is remembered fondly by so many people across the world for his courageous work in exposing the darkness that lay at the heart of European imperialism".

The Aud anchor at Banna | Image via @ireland2016 on Twitter

"A hundred years on, with the benefit of hindsight, we are able to see in a new light the life and legacy of Roger Casement".

"We are better able to grasp how the multiple layers of his identity and allegiances, as an Irishman and a sensitive humanitarian at the turn of the last century, were played out in the life of Roger Casement".

Mr Higgins concluded by quoting Casement’s own words: "The faculty of preserving through centuries of misery the remembrance of lost liberty - this surely is the noblest cause ever man strove for, ever lived for, ever died for".

There was also a number of performances by local groups, as well as a formal ceremony including the raising of the national flag and the singing of the national anthem.A bust and tribute to Casement have also been

A bust and tribute to Casement have also been unveiled by President Higgins in Ardfert.