Volunteer Murt O’Leary was chosen to pilot the arms ship the Aud into Fenit Pier on Easter Sunday.
On the night of Holy Thursday O’Leary noticed a large steamer off the coast. The next morning, Good Friday, he saw a British patrol boat coming alongside the ship. After about two hours the patrol boat sailed off. That was not the last time Murt would see the authorities.
About three or four o’clock that evening we saw three great big destroyers coming up from the west.
The ship he was watching was in fact the Aud which was laden with arms from Germany that were to be used in the Easter Rising. The Kerry Volunteers had been told the ship would arrive on Easter Sunday. Unknown to them the Aud arrived three days early.
The next day, Saturday, Murt met fellow Volunteer Pat Ashe who told him that a man had been arrested at Banna Strand. As they were expecting the Aud on Sunday they did not think it was anything to worry about.
The man that had been arrested was in fact Roger Casement.
Mortimer ‘Murt’ O’Leary was a member of the Castlegregory Company, 4th Battalion, Kerry No. 1 Brigade, Irish Volunteers.
Murt O'Leary was interviewed by Brendan Ó Ciobhain on 22 May 1969. Photograph of Roger Casement, Cashman collection, courtesy of RTÉ Archives.