Daniel O'Connell

From New World Encyclopedia

Daniel O'Connell.

Daniel O'Connell (August 6, 1775 – May 15, 1847) (Irish: Dónal Ó Conaill), known as The Liberator,[1] or The Emancipator,[2] was an Irish political leader in the first half of the nineteenth century. He passed the bar examination in 1798, among the first Catholics to qualify as a barrister. That year, he opposed the violence that broke out against the British. He campaigned for Catholic Emancipation - the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years - and Repeal of the Union between Ireland and Great Britain. He won a seat at Westminster in 1828 but was unable to sit as a member because of the ban on Catholics. This prohibition was lifted the following year. In 1841, Daniel O'Connell became the first Roman Catholic Lord Mayor of Dublin since the reign of King James II of England, who was the last Roman Catholic monarch in the British Isles. O'Connell's campaign for rights and freedom was carried out through participation in the political system and via the ballot box, unlike other protests against what was regarded as colonial rule by the British, which used violence.

His achievements can be seen as a precedence for those who, in the Northern Irish struggle for social justice, pursed the diplomatic path as opposed to violence, although the latter also had their heroes from the long history of Irish revolt against the British including rebellions in 1641, 1798, 1803, 1865 and 1916. O'Connell, though, was aware that if diplomacy failed, frustrated by lack of progress, others would use violence. O'Connell was not a republican as such but wanted an independent Ireland with the British monarch as its head of state, rather like the self-rule status that Britain finally gave Ireland in 1920, after which a war was waged for complete independence. The Protestant majority North was also partitioned as a separate state. O’Connell’s achievements as a pioneer of non-violent political protest is less well known than those of such later men as M. K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, although he influenced both. He richly deserves his place in the history of how change for the better can be brought about by peaceful means. He also defended the rights of Jews, and condemned slavery telling the citizens of the United States that they were hypocrites for dishonoring their freedom by tyrannizing others.[3] Despite its adverse affect on financial support for the Irish cause from the USA, he did not abandon his principled opposition to slavery wherever it was practiced. The real value of his legacy lies in his refusal to be communitarian, to polarize people into "us" and "them" and in his affirmation, even in the face of oppression, that the oppressor shared his humanity as - as he saw all people - children of God.

Early life

O'Connell was born in Carhen, near Caherciveen, County Kerry, to a once-wealthy Roman Catholic family. Under the patronage of his wealthy bachelor uncle, Maurice "Hunting Cap" O'Connell, he studied at Douai in France, and was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1794, transferring to Dublin's King's Inns two years later. In his early years, he became acquainted with the pro-democracy radicals of the time, and committed himself to bringing equal rights and religious tolerance to his own country. His experience in France, where he witnessed the French Revolution, convinced him that violent protest resulted in more oppression, more violence and in a general degeneration of social condones. He determined to use what he saw as legitimate tactics to further the cause of emancipation.

O'Connell's Home at Derrynane

While in Dublin studying for the law O'Connell was under his Uncle Maurice's instructions not to become involved in any militia activity. When Wolfe Tone's French invasion fleet entered Bantry Bay in December, 1796, O'Connell found himself in a quandary. Politics was the cause of his unsettlement.[4] Dennis Gwynn in his Daniel O’Connell: The Irish Liberator suggests that the unsettlement was because he was enrolled as a volunteer in defense of Government, yet the Government was intensifying its persecution of the Catholic people of which he was one. He desired to enter Parliament, yet every allowance that the Catholics had been led to anticipate, two years previously, was now flatly vetoed.

As a law student, O'Connell was aware of his own talents, but the higher ranks of the Bar were closed to him. Having read the Jockey Club, as a picture of the governing class in England, and was persuaded by it that, “vice reigns triumphant in the English court at this day. The spirit of liberty shrinks to protect property from the attacks of French innovators. The corrupt higher orders tremble for their vicious enjoyments.”[4] Daniel O'Connell's studies at the time had concentrated upon the legal and political history of Ireland, and the debates of the Historical Society concerned the records of governments, and from this he was to conclude, according to one of his biographers, "in Ireland the whole policy of the Government was to repress the people and to maintain the ascendancy of a privileged and corrupt minority."[4]

On January 3, 1797, he wrote to his uncle saying that he was the last of his colleagues to join a volunteer corps and 'being young, active, healthy and single' he could offer no plausible excuse.[5] Later that month, for the sake of expediency, he joined the Lawyer's Artillery Corps.[6]

On May 19, 1798, O'Connell was called to the Irish Bar and became a barrister. Four days later the United Irishmen staged their rebellion which was put down by the British with great bloodshed. O'Connell did not support the rebellion; he believed that the Irish would have to assert themselves politically rather than by force. For over a decade he went into a fairly quiet period of private law practice in the south of Ireland. He also condemned Robert Emmet's rebellion of 1803. Of Emmet, a Protestant, he wrote: 'A man who could coolly prepare so much bloodshed, so many murders - and such horrors of every kind has ceased to be an object of compassion.'[7] He also opposed the 1803 rebellion against the Act of Union, passed in 1800.

Political beliefs and program

Politically, he focused on parliamentary and populist methods to force change and made regular declarations of his loyalty to the British Crown. He often warned the British Establishment that if they did not reform the governance of Ireland, Irishmen would start to listen to the "counsels of violent men." Successive British governments continued to ignore this advice, long after his death, although he succeeded in extracting by the sheer force of will and the power of the Catholic peasants and clergy much of what he wanted, i.e. eliminating disabilities on Roman Catholics; ensuring that lawfully elected Roman Catholics could serve their constituencies in the British Parliament (until the Irish Parliament was restored)[8]; and amending the Oath of Allegiance so as to remove clauses offensive to Roman Catholics who could then take the Oath in good conscience. Previously, the oath included a repudiation of the doctrine of transubstantiation.[9]

Although a native speaker of the Irish language, O'Connell encouraged Irish people to learn English in order to better themselves.

And although he is best known for the campaign for Catholic Emancipation; he also supported similar efforts for Irish Jews. At his insistence, in 1846, the British law “De Judaismo," which prescribed a special dress for Jews, was repealed. O’Connell said: "Ireland has claims on your ancient race, it is the only country that I know of unsullied by any one act of persecution of the Jews."

1815 Duel

In an 1815 speech, O'Connell referred to "The Corpo," as it was commonly referred to, as a "beggarly corporation." Its members and leaders were outraged and because O'Connell would not apologize, one of their number, the noted duelist D'Esterre, challenged him. The duel had filled Dublin Castle (from where the British Government administered Ireland) with tense excitement at the prospect that O’Connell would be killed. They regarded O’Connell as “worse than a public nuisance,” and would have welcomed any prospect of seeing him removed at this time.[10] O'Connell met D'Esterre and mortally wounded him, (he was shot in the hip, the bullet then lodging in his stomach), in a duel. Hating violence, this act filled him with deep regret. Not only had he killed a man, but he had left his family almost destitute. O’Connell offered to “share his income” with D’Esterre’s widow, but she declined, but consented to accept an allowance for her daughter, which he regularly paid for more than thirty years until his death. The memory of the duel haunted him for the remainder of his life.[11] Williams and Williams describe the duel as more or less a plot concocted by the Protestant establishment to rid themselves of the articulate Catholic nuisance. As described in the London Times, a paper that had no liking for O'Connell, the account "carried a hint of nostalgic regret as to its outcome." "The enmity between him and the Times of London," they add, "was particularly rancorous." [12]

Campaigning for Catholic Emancipation

He returned to politics in the 1810s, establishing the Catholic Board in 1811 which campaigned for only Catholic Emancipation, that is, the opportunity for Irish Catholics to become Members of Parliament. O'Connell later in 1823 set up the Catholic Association which embraced other aims to better Irish Catholics, such as: electoral reform, reform of the Church of Ireland, tenant's rights and economic development[13] The Association was funded by membership dues of one penny per month, a minimal amount designed to attract Catholic peasants. The subscription was highly successful, and the Association raised a large sum of money in its first year. The money was used to campaign for Catholic Emancipation, specifically funding pro-emancipation Members of Parliament (MPs) standing for the British House of Commons. Members of the Association wore a uniform designed by O'Connell, which he often wore himself. It was green, the color of Ireland. Williams and Williams comment that as his popularity grew, his "image was everywhere in Ireland, appearing in media as varied as print, textiles and Staffordshire pottery." They also state that his public appearances were carefully orchestrated.[14]

Statue of Daniel O'Connell outside St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne

As part of his campaign for Catholic Emancipation, O'Connell stood in a by-election to the British House of Commons in 1828 for County Clare for a seat vacated by William Vesey Fitzgerald, another supporter of the Catholic Association. After O'Connell won the seat, he was unable to take it because Catholics were not allowed to sit in the British Parliament at this time. It was only through a legal loop hole that he was allowed to stand in the first place. It is incorrectly assumed that he didn't take his seat because of his refusal to take an oath to the King as head of the Church of England. The Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington, and the Home Secretary, Sir Robert Peel, even though they opposed Catholic participation in Parliament , saw that denying O'Connell his seat would cause outrage and could lead to another rebellion or uprising in Ireland which was about 85 percent Catholic.

Peel and Wellington managed to convince George IV that Catholic emancipation and the right of Catholics and Presbyterians and members of all Christian faiths other than the established Church of Ireland to sit in Parliament needed to be passed; and with the help of the Whigs, it became law in 1829. However, this destroyed the trust other Tory MPs had in Peel and Wellington. (Jews and other non-Christians were given the right to sit in Parliament in 1858). Michael Doheny, in his The Felon’s Track, says that the very character of Emancipation has assumed an “exaggerated and false guise” and that it is an error to call it emancipation. He went on, that it was neither the first nor the last nor even the most important in the concessions, which are entitled to the name of emancipation, and that no one remembered the men whose exertions “wrung from the reluctant spirit of a far darker time the right of living, of worship, of enjoying property, and exercising the franchise.”[15] Doheny's opinion was, that the penalties of the “penal laws” had been long abolished, and that barbarous code had been compressed into cold and stolid exclusiveness and yet Mr. O’Connell monopolized its entire renown.[15] The view put forward by John Mitchel, also one of the leading members of the Young Ireland movement, in his “Jail Journal”[16] was that there were two distinct movements in Ireland during this period, which were rousing the people, one was the Catholic Relief Agitation (led by O'Connell), which was both open and legal, the other was the secret societies known as the Ribbon and White-boy movements.[17] The first proposed the admission of professional and genteel Catholics to Parliament and to the honors of the professions, all under British law—the other, originating in an utter horror and defiance of British law, contemplated nothing less than a social, and ultimately, a political revolution.[17] According to Mitchel, for fear of the latter, Great Britain with a “very ill grace yielded to the first.” Mitchel agrees that Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington said they brought in this measure, to avert civil war; but says that “no British statesman ever officially tells the truth, or assigns to any act its real motive.”[17] Their real motive was, according to Mitchel, to buy into the British interests, the landed and educated Catholics, these “Respectable Catholics” would then be contented, and "become West Britons" from that day.[17]

Ironically, considering O'Connell's dedication to peaceful methods of political agitation, his greatest political achievement ushered in a period of violence in Ireland. A flaw in his achievement was that one of the most unpopular features of the Penal Laws remained in the form of the obligation for all working people to support the Anglican Church (i.e., the Church of Ireland) by payments known as Tithes. An initially peaceful campaign of non-payment turned violent in 1831 when the newly founded Royal Irish Constabulary were used to seize property in lieu of payment resulting in the Tithe War of 1831-1836. Although opposed to the use of force, O'Connell successfully defended participants in the battle of Carrickshock and all the defendants were successfully acquitted.

In 1841, Daniel O'Connell became the first Roman Catholic Lord Mayor of Dublin since the reign of King James II of England and Ireland and VII of Scotland, who was the last Roman Catholic monarch in the British Isles. As the Lord Mayor, he called out the British Army against striking workers in the capital. Nonetheless O'Connell rejected Sharman Crawford's call for the complete abolition of tithes in 1838, as he felt he could not embarrass the Whigs (the Lichfield house compact]] secured an alliance between Whigs, radicals and Irish MPs in 1835).

Campaign for "Repeal of the Union"

The round tower marking O'Connell's grave in Glasnevin Cemetery
O'Connell Monument in Dublin

O'Connell campaigned for Repeal of the Act of Union, which in 1801 merged the Parliaments of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In order to campaign for Repeal, O'Connell set up the Repeal Association. He argued for the re-creation of an independent Kingdom of Ireland to govern itself, with Queen Victoria as the Queen of Ireland.

To push for this, he held a series of Monster Meetings throughout much of Ireland outside the Protestant and Unionist-dominated province of Ulster. They were so called because each was attended by around 100,000 people. These rallies concerned the British Government and then-Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, banned one such proposed monster meeting at Clontarf, County Dublin, just outside Dublin City. This move was made after the biggest monster meeting was held at Tara.

Tara held a lot of significance to the Irish population as it was the old inauguration site of the High Kings of Ireland. Clontarf was symbolic because of its association with the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, when the Irish King Brian Boru broke Viking power in Ireland. Despite appeals from his supporters, O'Connell refused to defy the authorities and he called off the meeting. This did not prevent him being jailed for sedition, although he was released after 3 months by the British House of Lords. Having deprived himself of his most potent weapon, the monster meeting, O'Connell failed to make any more progress in the campaign for Repeal. In 1839, his motion to repeal union with Great Britain defeated 523 to 38.

As Abolitionist

After the passing of the emancipation act in 1829, Connolly turned his attention to the anti-slavery campaign to end slavery within the British empire. He was also outspokenly critical of slavery in the United States, and spoke against forms of bondage and tyranny wherever they were practiced. He saw liberty both as a human right and as God's intent for all people, regardless of color, "whether black, white or red".[18] The American's were false in pretending to be "friends of liberty" when they denied the freedom of the black man. They declared that "every man was equal in the presence of God - that every man had an inalienable right to liberty" but denied this to those of color.[19] He hated slavery and bondage in any shape; "the slavery of the Poles in Russia under their miscreant rule, and the slavery of the unfortunate men of color under their fellow men, the boasted friends of liberty in the United States." O’Connell saw men where some saw a sub-human species. His passion to end slavery was rooted in his religious faith: "Slavery is a high crime against heaven, and its annihilation ought not to be postponed."[20] When he called "for justice in the name of the living God" it would, he said, "find an echo in the breast of every human being."[21] America's slave-owners were "the basest of the base, the most execrable of the execrable." He once refused to show a visiting American around the House of Commons when he discovered that he was from a slave-state.[22]

From 1832, he championed William Lloyd Garrison's anti-slavery movement in the USA. In 1845, he hosted a visit to Dublin by Frederick Douglas with whom he shared a platform at Liberty Call in what is now O'Connell St. However, his anti-slave campaign did not attract the support of the American Irish and financial assistance towards the nationalist cause was cut as a result. Liggio points out how "O'Connell stood steadfast in his commitment to abolish human slavery even when it undermined his lifelong ambition to achieve home rule for Ireland." "The conflicting interests and ethical imperatives facing a statesman with international constituencies," he continues, "illuminate the difficulties that similar ethical commitments to human liberty present to statesmen of our own time".[23] O’Connell did run foul of his fellow abolitionists when he tried to decrease tax on cotton imported from the States in order to help develop the Irish textile industry; in their view, this benefited the slave-owners and strengthened their resolve to keep their cheap labor. He was not unaware that the anti-slavery cause and that of Irish nationalism did not also share common interests in that what promoted one harmed the other. His contribution to the repeal of the act requiring Jews to war distinctive dress, too, shows that his heart was set to work for the end of all discrimination against people based on creed or race.

Pioneer of Non-Violent Reform

O'Connell's commitment to non-violence stemmed from his early experience in France. However, he "hated militarism" (as he did "racism") and it would be difficult to argue that his preference for non-violence was merely strategic.[24]. Members of his Repeal People took a pledge that they would only employ non-violence. It appears to have been grounded in his belief in the sanctity of all life. He "demanded from his followers strict adherence to the principles of non-violence," says Stegar and "respecting the constitutional framework of the British government, he continued nationalistic agitation' through 'a non-violent, parliamentary 'moral force' expressed in a rational demand for legal reform measures."[25] Many comparisons have been made with the tactics of Gandhi, who acknowledged his influence. O'Connell wore home-spun; so did Gandhi.[26] O'Connell used the phrase, "Young Irish"; Gandhi spoke of "Young India." O'Connell believed that morality was on his side, not on that of the British, a view Gandhi shared with reference to his freedom struggle.

However, unlike Gandhi, O'Connell - whose main method was the mass or monster meeting - did not view civil disobedience or non-cooperation as non-violent, believing that such tactics "would merely contribute to a general disregard to law and order," something he had seen in France. It is here that O'Connell and Gandhi part company. Comparison of O'Connell with Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. is fully justified. He has been described as standing with "Gandhi and Martin Luther King as a political leader devoted to non-violence" [27] while Scholar refers to him as the "Irish Gandhi," although chronologically it would be more appropriate to refer to Gandhi as "the Indian O'Connell".[28]DeAngelis describes O’Connell as Ireland's "most illustrious son" who "who later inspire the peaceful tactics of Gandhi and Martin Luther King."[29] Similarly, Bush says, "O’Connell inspired Gandhi, Indian nationalists visited Ireland" and "Indian and Irish nationalists mingled in the salons of London and Paris after 1880."[30]

According to Theodore Allen, O'Connell's non-violent movement was the most successful prior to Gandhi's:

Starting with only forty-seven members, the association produced a non-revolution liberation movement of a scope and depth probably unmatched except by that led by Gandhi in another colony a century later.[31]


In 1802 O'Connell married his third cousin Mary O'Connell. They had four daughters (three surviving), Ellen (1805), Catherine (1808), Elizabeth (1810), and Rickard (1815) and four sons. The sons — Maurice (1803), Morgan (1804), John O'Connell (1810), and Daniel (1816) — all sat in Parliament. Maurice edited his father's correspondence and wrote a biography; John edited his speeches. Daughter Ellen left Ireland to live in the United States.

Connection with the licensed trade

O'Connell assisted his younger son, Daniel junior, to acquire a brewery in James's Street, Dublin.[32] The brewery produced a brand known as O'Connell's Ale and enjoyed considerable popularity. The business was not successful though, and after a few years was taken over by the manager, John Brennan, while Daniel junior embraced a political career. Brennan changed the name to the Phoenix Brewery and continued to brew and sell O'Connell's Ale. When the Phoenix Brewery was effectively closed when absorbed into the Guinness complex in 1909, the brewing of O'Connell's Ale was carried out by John D'Arcy and Son Ltd at the Anchor Brewery in Usher Street. In the mid-1920s, D'Arcy's ceased trading and the firm of Watkins Jameson and Pim carried on the brewing.

Daniel junior was the committee chairman of the licensed trade association of the period and gave considerable and valuable support to Daniel O'Connell in his public life. Some time later a quarrel arose and O'Connell turned his back on the association and became a strong advocate of temperance. During the period of Fr. Matthew's total abstinence crusades many temperance rallies were held, the most notable being a huge rally held on St. Patrick's Day in 1841. Daniel O'Connell was a guest of honor at another such rally held at the Rotunda hospital.

Irish Potato Famine

Between 1845 and 1847, the last few years of O'Connell's life, Ireland suffered from the Great Potato Famine. British indifference towards the fate of the Irish and what Williams and Williams describe as "killing remarks" in the media further convinced the Irish that Britain really did not have their interests at heart. The attitude reflected in the press was that the Irish, who were indolent and lazy had chosen a crop that "required minimal effort" and so they were responsible for their own misfortune. After all, "how could one preach industriousness to the poor of Britain" while handing out food "to the improvident Irish?"[33] Their thesis is that in its response to the famine, the British media were influenced by their hostility towards the man who personified Irish nationalism' "thanks to his opposition to the Union," O'Connell was "an increasingly hated figure in the eyes of many Englishmen." The editor of the Times nurtured a particular hatred for O'Connell, "his program and his religion." O'Connell opposed extension of the Poor Law to Ireland, which was how the British decided to respond to the famine. This would have forced people into Workhouses and into employment. O'Connell saw this as degrading and insisted that the better solution was an Irish Parliament "legislating for the country's economic good."[34] Williams and Williams comment how the Times would refer to O'Connell as "calling himself" a leader in order to undermine his legitimacy to represent the Irish; "Although O'Connell was expert at building and controlling large scale organizations, to The Times neither he nor his Irish followers could have any legitimate authority of their own" because that "resided solely at the societal and political hub of the empire in London, always the referential locus of The Times."[35] It is testimony to O'Connell's standing that he may have influenced a whole nation's response to the humanitarian crises, although regrettably the response was one of indifference. The Irish population was reduced by about 20 percent. Government did provide some relief in the form of inedible corn, which was sold not given away; countless families were evicted for failure to pay rent or tax.


O'Connell died of softening of the brain (cerebral softening) in 1847 in Genoa, Italy while on a pilgrimage to Rome at the age of 71, his term in prison having seriously weakened him. According to his dying wish, his heart was buried in Rome and the remainder of his body in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin, beneath a round tower. His sons are buried in his crypt.


O'Connell is known in Ireland as "The Liberator" for his success in achieving Catholic Emancipation. O'Connell admired Latin American liberator Simón Bolívar, and one of his sons, Morgan O'Connell, was a volunteer officer in Bolívar's army in 1820, aged 15.[36]

The principal street in the center of Dublin, previously called Sackville Street, was renamed O'Connell Street in his honor in the early twentieth century after the Irish Free State came into being.[37] His statue (made by the sculptor John Henry Foley, who also designed the sculptures of the Albert Memorial in London) stands at one end of the street, with a statue of Charles Stewart Parnell at the other end.

The main street of Limerick is also named after O'Connell, also with a statue at the end (in the centre of The Crescent). O'Connell Streets also exist in Ennis, Sligo, Clonmel, Waterford, Melbourne and North Adelaide.

There is a large body of literature about O'Connell, with literature for younger readers as well as scholarly discussion of his methods and achievements. His life is an important example of how a reforming politician can organize civil society to bring about significant constitutional reform peacefully. His hatred of violence, racism, of discrimination was rooted in his profound belief in the equality of all people. He did not limit his interest in justice to his own community but condemned injustice and inequality as universally evil. His support of the rights of Jews and his fierce opposition to slavery were broader concerns that he could easily have ignored, claiming that the cause of Irish freedom took all his energy. However, his love of liberty was so profound that he was compelled to pursue a wider agenda. Sometimes, this created tension when interests clashed. Although he initially worked for Catholic emancipation, he refused to be narrowly communitarian. Unfortunately, other in Ireland have pursed communitarian agendas. His legacy of non-violence, too, has too often been forgotten. Nonetheless, those who eschew violence and choose peaceful strategies to achieve legitimate goals have an honorable example to follow in the life, work and achievements of Daniel O'Connell, the peaceful Liberator.

There is a museum commemorating him in Derrynane House, near the village of Derrynane, County Kerry, which was once owned by his family. He was a member of the Literary Association of the Friends of Poland as well.

O'Connell quotes

  • ‘The altar of liberty totters when it is cemented only with blood’ [Written in his Journal, Dec 1796, and one of O'Connell's most well-known quotes.</ref> Quoted by O'Ferrall, 12.<.ref>
  • "Gentlemen, you may soon have the alternative to live as slaves or die as free men" (speaking in Mallow, County Cork)
  • ‘Good God, what a brute man becomes when ignorant and oppressed. Oh Liberty! What horrors are committed in thy name! May every virtuous revolutionist remember the horrors of Wexford’! (Written in his Journal, 2nd Jan 1799, referring to the recent Irish Rebellion of 1798.[38]
  • ‘My days – the blossom of my youth and the flower of my manhood – have been darkened by the dreariness of servitude. In this my native land – in the land of my sires – I am degraded without fault as an alien and an outcast.’ July 1812, aged 37, reflecting on the failure to secure equal rights or Catholic Emancipation for Catholics in Ireland.</ref> Quoted from O'Connell, J., (ed.) 1846. The Life and Speeches of Daniel O'Connell, Vol I. 2 Vols, (Dublin: James Duffy), 185.</ref>
  • ‘How cruel the Penal Laws are which exclude me from a fair trial with men whom I look upon as so much my inferiors…’.[39]
  • ‘…I want to make all Europe and America know it – I want to make England feel her weakness if she refuses to give the justice we [the Irish] require – the restoration of our domestic parliament…’. Speech given at a ‘monster’ meeting held at Drogheda, June, 1843.
  • ‘There is an utter ignorance of, and indifference to, our sufferings and privations….What care they for us, provided we be submissive, pay the taxes, furnish recruits for the Army and Navy and bless the masters who either despise or oppress or combine both? The apathy that exists respecting Ireland is worse than the national antipathy they bear us’. [40]
  • ‘No person knows better than you do that the domination of England is the sole and blighting curse of this country. It is the incubus that sits on our energies, stops the pulsation of the nation’s heart and leaves to Ireland not gay vitality but horrid the convulsions of a troubled dream’.<ef>O’Connell, (1888). 2008. Vol IV, Letter No. 1860. Letter to Bishop Doyle, 1831.]
  • ‘The principle of my political life …. is, that all ameliorations and improvements in political institutions can be obtained by persevering in a perfectly peaceable and legal course, and cannot be obtained by forcible means, or if they could be got by forcible means, such means create more evils than they cure, and leave the country worse than they found it.’</ref> Writing in The Nation newspaper, November 18, 1843]
  • “No man was ever a good soldier but the man who goes into the battle determined to conquer, or not to come back from the battle field (cheers). No other principle makes a good soldier.” (O’Connell recalling the spirited conduct of the Irish soldiers in Wellington’s army, at the Monster meeting held at Mullaghmast.)[41]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by:
William Vesey-FitzGerald, 2nd Baron FitzGerald and Vesey
Lucius O'Brien
Member of Parliament for Clare
with Lucius O'Brien, 13th Baron Inchiquin

Succeeded by:
William Nugent Macnamara
Charles Mahon
Preceded by:
Richard Power
Lord George Beresford
Member of Parliament for Waterford County
with Lord George Beresford

Succeeded by:
Sir Richard Musgrave, Bt
Robert Power
Preceded by:
Maurice FitzGerald, 18th Knight of Kerry
William Browne
Member of Parliament for Kerry
with Frederick William Mullins

Succeeded by:
Frederick William Mullins
Charles O'Connell
Preceded by:
Frederick Shaw]]
Henry Chetwynd-Talbot, 18th Earl of Shewsbury
Member of Parliament for Dublin City
with Edward Southwell Ruthven

Succeeded by:
George Alexander Hamilton
John Beattie West
Preceded by:
Richard Sullivan
Member of Parliament for Kilkenny
Succeeded by:
Joseph Hume
Preceded by:
George Alexander Hamilton]]
John Beattie West
Member of Parliament for Dublin City
with Robert Hutton

Succeeded by:
John Beattie West
Edward Grogan
Preceded by:
Matthew Elias Corbally
Member of Parliament for Meath
Succeeded by:
Matthew Elias Corbally
Preceded by:
Garrett Standish Barry
Edmund Burke Roche
Member of Parliament for Cork County
with Edmund Burke Roche

Succeeded by:
Edmund Burke Roche
Maurice Power

See also

  • History of Ireland (1801-1922)
  • List of people on stamps of Ireland


  1. Daniel O'Connell. Irish-Society. 1986. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
  2. A Short History of Ireland: Monster Meetings. BBC.
  3. Daniel O'Connell. 1860. Daniel O'Connell upon American Slavery: with other Irish testimonies. (New York, NY: American Anti-Slavery Society; digitized reproduction, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Library. ISBN 9781429712200), 5. "I will say unto you, freemen of America … that you are hypocrites, tyrants, and unjust men; that you are degraded and dishonored; and I say unto you, dare not to stand up boasting of your freedom or your privileges while you continue to treat men, redeemed by the same blood, as the mere creatures of you will."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dennis Gywnn. Daniel O'Connell: The Irish Liberator. (London, UK: Hutchinson & Co, Ltd. 1929), 71.
  5. O'Connell. 1973. Vol I, Letter No. 24a
  6. Fergus O'Ferrall. Daniel O'Connell. (Gill's Irish Lives Series) (Dublin, IE: Gill & MacMillan, 1981. ISBN 9780717126897), 12.
  7. O’Connell. 1973. Vol I, Letter No. 97
  8. Closed due to the 1800 Act of Unity whereby Irish sat in the British Parliament and Ireland was governed from London.
  9. Leslie Williams and W. H. A. Williams. 2003. Daniel O'Connell, the British press, and the Irish famine: killing remarks. (Aldershot, Hants, UK: Ashgate. ISBN 9780754605539), 27.
  10. Gywnn, 1929, 138-145.
  11. Gywnn, 1929, 138-145.
  12. Williams and Williams, 2003, 25-26.
  13. Paul Adelmann and Robert Pearce. 2005. Great Britain and the Irish Question 1798-1922. (London, UK: Hodder Murray. ISBN 9780340889015), 33.
  14. Williams and Williams, 2003, 48.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Michael Doheny. 1951. The Felon’s Track. (Dublin, IE: M.H. Gill & Son), 2-4.
  16. John Mitchel. (1914) 1996. Jail Journal which was first serialized in his first New York City newspaper, The Citizen, from January 14, 1854 to August 19, 1854. The book referenced is an exact reproduction of the Jail Journal, as it first appeared.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Mitchel. (1914)1996. Jail Journal, or five years in British Prisons. reproduction (New York, NY: Woodstock Books. ISBN 9781854772183), xxxiv-xxxvi.
  18. O’Connell, 1860, 8.
  19. O’Connell, 1860, 14.
  20. O’Connell, 1860, 9.
  21. O'Connell, 1860, 6.
  22. O’Connell, 1860, 25.
  23. O'Connell, Anti-Slavery, and Freedom - Leonard P. Liggio, (ed.)Literature of Liberty 2 (4) (October/December 1979) The online Library of Liberty. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
  24. O'Ferrall, 1981, 139.
  25. Manfred B. Stegar. 2000. Gandhi's dilemma: nonviolent principles and nationalist power. (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9780312221775), 10-11.
  26. D.B. Mathur. 1988. Prefacing Gandhi. (Jaipur, IN: R.B.S.A. Publishers. ISBN 9788185176253), 56.
  27. Charles Chenevix Trench. 1984. The Great Dan: a biography of Daniel O'Connell. (London, UK: J. Cape. ISBN 9780224021760), xiv.
  28. Andrea Scholer. 2004. When Gaelic Spirits Wake. (Tacomus, WA: Mallette House Books. ISBN 9781434843685), 10.
  29. Camille DeAngelis. 2007. Ireland. (Emeryville, CA: Avalon Travel. ISBN 9781598800487), 197.
  30. Barbara Bush. 2006. Imperialism and Postcolonialism. (New York, NY: Pearson Longman. ISBN 9780582505834), 73.
  31. Theodore Allen. 1994. The invention of the white race. (London, UK: Verso. ISBN 9780860914808), 99.
  32. Malachy Magee. 1998. Irish whiskey: a 1000 year tradition. (Dublin: O'Brien Press. ISBN 0862782287), 68-74.
  33. Williams and Williams, 2003, 364.
  34. Williams and Williams, 2003, 29-30.
  35. Williams and Williams, 2003, 31.
  36. Brian McGinn, 1991. Venezuela's Irish Legacy. New York, NY: Irish America Magazine. Retrieved August 20, 2008.
  37. Sean Sheehan, and Patricia Levy. 2001. Dublin Handbook: The Travel Guide. (Bath, UK: Footprint Handbooks. ISBN 9781900949989), 99.
  38. O'Neill Daunt, W.J. 1848. Personal Recollections of the Late Daniel O'Connell. M.P., Vol I. (London, UK: Chapman & Hall), 205.
  39. O’Connell, (1888) 2007. Letter No 700, Vol II.
  40. O’Connell, (1888) 2008. Vol VI, Letter No. 2588. Letter to T.M. Ray, 1839, on English attitudes to Ireland.
  41. Brendan Clifford and Julianne Herlihy. Envoi, Taking Leave of Roy Foster. (Cork, IE: Aubane Historical Society. ISBN 9781903497289), 16.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Adelmann, Paul, and Robert Pearce. Great Britain and the Irish Question 1798-1922. London, UK: Hodder Murray, 2005. ISBN 978-0340889015
  • Allen, Theodore. The invention of the white race. London, UK: Verso, 1994. ISBN 978-0860914808
  • Bush, Barbara. Imperialism and Postcolonialism. New York, NY: Pearson Longman, 2006. ISBN 978-0582505834
  • Chenevix Trench, Charles. The Great Dan: a biography of Daniel O'Connell. London, UK: J. Cape, 1984. ISBN 978-0224021760
  • Clifford, Brendan and Julianne Herlihy. Envoi, Taking Leave of Roy Foster. Cork, IE: Aubane Historical Society. ISBN 1903497280
  • DeAngelis, Camille. Ireland. Moon handbooks. Emeryville, CA: Avalon Travel, 2007. ISBN 978-1598800487
  • Doheny, Michael. The Felon’s Track. Dublin, IE: M.H. Gill & Son, 1951.
  • Gwynn, Denis. Daniel O'Connell: The Irish Liberator. London, UK: Hutchinson & Co, Ltd., 1929.
  • MacDonagh, Oliver. Daniel O'Connell. The hereditary bondsman: 1775-1829. London, UK: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1988. ISBN 0312016166
  • MacDonagh, Oliver. 1991. O'Connell: The Life of Daniel O'Connell 1775-1847. New York, NY: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0297820178.
  • Magee, Malachy. Irish whiskey: a 1000 year tradition. Dublin: O'Brien Press, 1998. ISBN 0862782287
  • Mathur, D.B. Prefacing Gandhi. Jaipur, IN: R.B.S.A. Publishers, 1988. ISBN 978-8185176253
  • Mitchel, John. Mitchel’s Jail Journal which was first serialized in his first New York City newspaper, The Citizen, from 14 January 1854 to 19 August 1854.
  • Moley, Raymond. Daniel O'Connell, nationalism without violence: an essay. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 1974. ISBN 978-0823209774
  • Nowlan, Kevin B., and Maurice R. O'Connell. Daniel O'Connell, portrait of a radical. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 1985. ISBN 978-0823211401
  • O’Connell, Daniel. Daniel O'Connell upon American Slavery: with other Irish testimonies. New York, NY: American Anti-Slavery Society; Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Library, 1860. ISBN 978-1429712200
  • O’Connell, Daniel. Correspondence of Daniel O’Connell, The Liberator. Vol 2. Gloucester, UK: Dodo Press/Book Depositary, 2007. ISBN 978-1406783032
  • O'Connell, Daniel. Correspondence of Daniel O’Connell, The Liberator. Vol. VI. reprint ed. Whitefish, MT: Kissinger, 2008. ISBN 978-1436572149
  • O'Connell, Daniel, and Maurice R. O'Connell. The correspondence of Daniel O'Connell. Dublin, IE: Irish University Press, 1973. ASIN B0013GQNX8
  • O'Connell, John ed. The Life and Speeches of Daniel O'Connell. (2 Vols) Dublin, IE: James Duffy, 1846.
  • O’Connell, Maurice. Daniel O'Connell: The man and his politics. Blackrock, CO; Dublin, IE: Irish Academic Press, 1990. ISBN 978-0716524465
  • O'Ferrall, Fergus. Daniel O'Connell. (Gill's Irish Lives Series) Dublin, IE: Gill & MacMillan, 1981. ISBN 978-0717126897
  • O'Neill Daunt, W.J. Personal Recollections of the Late Daniel O'Connell. M.P. 2 Vols London, UK: Chapman & Hall, 1848.
  • Scholer, Andrea. When Gaelic Spirits Wake. Tacomus, WA: Mallette House Books, 2004. ISBN 978-1434843685
  • Sheehan, Sean and Patricia Levy. Dublin Handbook: The Travel Guide. Bath, UK: Footprint Handbooks, 2001. ISBN 978-1900949989
  • Steger, Manfred B. Gandhi's dilemma: nonviolent principles and nationalist power. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 2000. ASIN B01A1MG1OK
  • Williams, Leslie, and W. H. A. Williams. Daniel O'Connell, the British press, and the Irish famine: killing remarks. Aldershot, Hants, UK: Ashgate, 2003. ISBN 978-0754605539

External links

All links retrieved January 24, 2024.


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