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BBC Documentaries: Season 2010

2010x155 The Secrets of the Black Diaries

  • 2010-01-18T16:00:00-05:00 on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Are the so-called Black Diaries forgeries by MI5 to ensure the execution of a
British traitor? Or are they the genuine and lurid homosexual accounts of an Irish
hero and fearless campaigner for human rights?

In 1916, Sir Roger Casement was sentenced to be hanged for trying to enlist German
help in the Easter Rising. A powerful lobby of writers such as George Bernard Shaw
and Arthur Conan Doyle appealed for leniency because of his humanitarian work
against the evils of colonialism. Then MI5 circulated the Black Diaries and
Casement went to the gallows in disgrace.

Ever since, Irish Nationalists have claimed the diaries were forged by British
Intelligence and until recently the Home Office kept them under lock and key. Now
the truth is out. The Black Diaries have been submitted to forensic tests and the
findings are revealed.