With the outbreak of WW2, the Irish government introduces internment without trial for all suspected IRA members, and Bernard Carroll – a naive young Dubliner who believes he is a revolutionary – is swept up with hundreds of others and held in a ramshackle internment camp on the plains of the Curragh.
The camp is packed with militant republicans, left-wing revolutionaries, civil war veterans. They can leave any time they want, but there’s one catch – they must first renounce violence and take an oath of loyalty to the Irish government. They choose to stay, despite the cold and hunger – studying, training and preparing themselves for the struggle. After all, they’re the future leaders of the secular socialist Irish Republic – aren’t they?