Sir,-1 refer to Mr. Montgomery Hyde's letter (February 25) in which he writes "all the questions raised by Dr. Mackey" have been answered in his 1960 book. The reverse is the truth. Not one is answered; and so I still await his reply.
Mr. Hyde's admission that, accompanied by • Mr. Frank MacDermot. he went into cahoots with Sergeant Sullivan is valuable. Mr. MacDermot has written that there were three separate consultations. Mr. Rene MacColl was also a party to this congress. We can conclude from this that the whole affair was master-minded by Mr. Hyde and his two colleagues, ably supported by Sullivan. There can be no other possible construction on this very unsavoury plot to ruin the character of a dead man.
It is also a notable admission of Mr. Hyde that he bases his qualification as a handwriting expert on his work as a British secret service agent. while such service would include the "passing off" of spurious manuscripts it does not include the scientific and laboratory testing of fabricated or falsified documents, I repeat, Mr. Hyde has no qualifications as a handwriting expert.
It is not the business of the Trish government to ask for the diaries. It is the duty of the British government to establish their title to them, and their claim that the diaries arc authentic: because it is that government which illegally holds them, and has made the charge against Casement's character.
Mr. Hyde is quite wrong in referring to "the heirs of the Casement estate". The heir to Casement's effects was his first cousin, Gertrude Bannister. (later Mrs. Sydney Parry). She died on September 23 1950. I have a copy of Mrs. Parry's will before me. She left £8,388 Is. 10d. and after leaving several sums of money to friends she bequeathed the balance of the money to "my late husband's cousins Lt. Col. R. F. Parry and Captain J. 0. Parry . .. in equal shares".
She left them no papers. They have no right to Roger Casement's diaries; any more than the British government has. They are not "heirs to the Casement estate".
Mrs. Parry left her papers and documents, including a voluminous collection of Casement letters and documents, to the National Library and, but for the forcible and illegal seizure and retention by the British government in 1916. of Casement's diaries they would now be in the National Library of Ireland also.
Herbert 0. Mackay Dun Laoghaire.