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Famous People of Ireland.

Daniel O'Connell.

Daniel O'Connell.
 

(1775 - 1847)

O'Connell was born on August 6, 1775, near Cahirciveen, County Kerry, and educated in France. He returned to Ireland, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in Dublin in 1798. During the next two decades he was active in the movement to repeal British laws that barred Roman Catholics from Parliament. In 1823 he organized the Catholic Association, which played an important role in the passage of the Catholic Emancipation Act six years later. O'Connell entered the British House of Commons for County Clare in 1829, retaining his seat until his death. O'Connell often allied himself with the Whig party in Parliament. He became lord mayor of Dublin in 1841.

As head of the Catholic Association he received a large yearly income from voluntary contributions by the Irish people, who supported him in a series of demonstrations in favour of Irish home rule. After one of these demonstrations, in 1843, he was arrested and convicted of seditious conspiracy, but the conviction was subsequently reversed by the House of Lords, and he resumed his career. In response to the national crisis caused by the Irish Famine (1845-1849), younger members of O'Connell's party began to advocate revolutionary doctrines that he had always opposed. Their arguments in favour of violent opposition to British rule led to an open split in Irish ranks in 1846. O'Connell, distressed by this disaffection among the Irish and in ill health, moved to Genoa, Italy, where he died on May 15, 1847.

One of O'Connell's most famous sayings was 'Human blood is no cement for the temple of liberty.'

 
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