"The date is fixed"


About this Item

Cathal O'Shannon a founder of the Irish Volunteers in Belfast talks about the influence of his upbringing and education on his political thinking. At Easter 1916 he was one of one hundred volunteers mobilised at at Coalisland in Tyrone.

  • Title
    The Survivors Cathal O'Shannon
  • Production Year
  • Contributor
    Brian Farrell
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    The Survivors
  • Clip title
    "The date is fixed"
  • Extended description

    O'Shannon talks about the influences on his political thinking while he was growing up in Country Derry. He recalls the Centenary of the United Irishmen in 1898 being especially influential. At a meeting of the Dungannon club O'Shannon was introduced to Sean McDermott, Bulmer Hobson and Denis McCullough it was these and other young men he says that were responsible for the reorganisation of the IRB.

    The outbreak of World War there was talk of little else in IRB circles other than the possibility this offered for a rising to take place. Cathal O'Shannon remembers a conversation with James Connolly in February 1916 who told him that "the date is fixed" for the rising but he could reveal no more at that stage.

    On Easter Saturday O'Shannon was part of the Belfast company of the Irish Volunteers that went to Coalisland with the intention of joining up with members in Tyrone and heading west to Connacht. This plan was abandoned and the Belfast company ordered to return home. Cathal O'Shannon and a colleague tried to get Dublin during Easter Week but failed. 

  • Information

    In the early 1960s Telefís Éireann (RTÉ Television) began to record interviews with individuals who had taken part in the Easter Rising and the War of Independence. These interviews were recorded under the working title of 'The Survivors' under 'a special projects' label. 

    Early in 1965 a group was established to plan how RTÉ would commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising. A decision was taken not to broadcast the Survivors interviews as a series.

    Around 14 individuals were interviewed under the Survivors title. The first Survivors interviews were organised by Jack White and recorded at the television studios in Donnybrook on 31 August 1964. Desmond Ryan, Cathal O'Shannon and M.W. O'Reilly were interviewed by Brian Farrell. The studio director was Burt Budin. 

  • Local keywords
    1916, Easter 1916, Easter Rising, War, Conflicts, Cathal O'Shannon, Brian Farrell, Survivors, James Connolly, IRB, Irish Republican Brotherhood
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    Wars and Conflict
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
  • Item colour
    Black and White
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
  • Language used
    English (eng)