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.

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.