"Pearse returned more silent than we'd ever seen him"

In the first episode veterans of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army remember the preparations leading up to the Easter Rising and their reaction to Eoin MacNeill's countermanding order published in the newspapers on the morning of Easter Sunday.

Desmond Ryan describes Patrick Pearse's shock when he heard of the countermanding order, the arrest of Roger Casement and the deaths of three Irish Volunteers at Ballykissane Pier, Kerry on Good Friday.

Helena Molony, a member of the women's section of the Irish Citizen Army describes how Countess Markievicz taught her how to shoot and how she smuggled weapons into the country in the weeks leading up to the Rising.

Simon Donnelly, Captain 'C' Company, 3rd Battalion recalls how he heard of the countermanding order while he was attending mass that morning. Donnelly, who was 1st Lieutenant of 'C' Company at the time was promoted to the rank of Captain that night.  

Joseph O'Connor who was Vice Commandant of the 3rd Battalion remembers his disappointment when he heard of the countermanding order.

Archie Heron, a member of the Irish Volunteers describes his journey from Dublin to Dungannon, County Tyrone on Easter Saturday to mobilise the Volunteers in Tyrone for action on Easter Sunday.

Liam O Briain was a member of the 1st Battalion Irish Volunteers. He was one of many sent by MacNeill on Saturday evening to tell the Volunteers in the country of his order cancelling the manoeuvres for Sunday and here he describes his journey to the Midlands.