The struggle for Home Rule, along with labour unrest, had led to the formation in 1913 of two major nationalist paramilitaries responsible for the Easter Rising: The Irish Citizen Army was established by James Connolly and labour unions, to protect strikers from violence during the 1913 Lockout. The Irish Volunteers were created in the same year, by the IRB and other nationalists, in response to the formation of the Ulster Volunteers, a loyalist body pledged to oppose Home Rule by force.
An organizer of considerable intelligence, Collins had become highly respected in the IRB. This led to his appointment as financial advisor to Count Plunkett, father of one of the Easter Rising's organisers, Joseph Mary Plunkett. Collins took part in preparing arms and drilling troops for the insurrection.
The Rising would be Collins’ first appearance in national events. When it commenced on Easter Monday 1916, Collins served as Plunkett’s aide-de-camp, at the rebellion’s headquarters in the General Post Office (GPO) in Dublin. There he fought alongside Patrick Pearse, James Connolly, and other Rising leadership.
The Rising is generally acknowledged to have been a military disaster. Yet the insurgents achieved their goal of holding their positions for the minimum time required, to justify a claim to independence, under international criteria. 
Arrested along with thousands of other participants, Collins fortuitously missed being included in the first rounds of executions of the Rising’s leadership. Soon after, public outcry put an end to such executions. The balance of those arrested were subsequently imprisoned at Frongoch internment camp in Wales.
Collins first began to emerge as a major figure, in the vacuum created by the executions of the 1916 leadership. He began hatching plans for "next time" even before the prison ships left Dublin. 
At Frongach, he was one of the organizers of a program of protest and non-cooperation...
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