Daniel O’Connell Statue
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A man of great intelligence, he prospered under the patronage of his wealthy bachelor uncle, Maurice “Hunting Cap” O’Connell.
With his backing, OConnell studied at Douai in France, and was admitted to Lincolns Inn in 1794, transferring to Dublins Kings 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.
He developed a keen sense of justice from reading about the struggles for freedom of many oppressed peoples, particularly in America, where he was a loud and persistent critic of slavery.
He was wonderful orator and was the first to use the power of large gatherings of people- called Monster Meetings to attempt to influence Government policy.
OConnell became a powerful figure through his intellect and oratorical skills.
He founded the movement for Catholic Emancipation – the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminister Parliament which was denied for over 100 years – and the Repeal of the Union.
He was called as “The Liberator” or the Emancipator because of his tireless efforts to gain equality for the Catholic people of Ireland.
After a campaign that took its toll on his health and decimated his wealth, OConnell by various means, seen his wish come true in 1829 when a law was passed allowing Roman Catholics (and other minority religions and non-Christians) to sit in the Westminister Parliament.
He represented County Clare in Parliament.
In 1841, he became the first Catholic Lord Mayor of Dublin.
Daniel OConnell died on the 15th May 1847 in Genoa, Italy whilst on a pilgrimage to his beloved Rome.
As per his written wishes, his heart was buried in Rome and his other remains are interred in Glasnevin Cemetery, beneath the Round Tower.
A bronze statue of Daniel OConnell was erected in Cahirciveen to honour his memory.