In 1969 Mortimer 'Murt' O'Leary recalls the events in Kerry on Good Friday. He was chosen to escort the arms ship the 'Aud' into Fenit on the Kerry coast.
Mortimer 'Murt' O'Leary was a member of the Castlegregory Company, 4th Battalion, Kerry No. 1 Brigade, Irish Volunteers. His father was a licenced pilot in Tralee Bay and Murt had a lot of experience with boats. He 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 but as it did not signal to the shore he thought nothing of it. The next morning, Good Friday, he noticed 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.
He now realised that the ship he was watching was in fact the Aud which was laden with a shipment of 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 destroyers continued their advance towards the Aud. One destroyer fired a warning shot across the bow indicating her to follow them. O'Leary recalls
Two of the big fellows lead him to the west and the other fellow was following him behind.
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. By the time they realised who it was, Casement was already on his way to prison in England.
Murt O'Leary was interviewed by Brendan Ó Ciobhain on 22 May 1969.