Daniel O’Connell

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Daniel O’Connell was a famous Irish person who lived during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. He helped Catholics to win the right to become Members of Parliament. He also wanted Ireland to have its own parliament. He became known as the “Liberator” because he looked for rights for Irish people. He arranged huge gatherings of people known as “monster meetings” where thousands of people would attend to hear him speak. One of the biggest meetings ever was one at Tara, County Meath in 1843 when about half a million people gathered to hear him.

The government soon banned these meetings because even though Daniel was against violence, the government feared such large gatherings might lead to rebellion. Despite his efforts, Daniel O’Connell didn’t succeed in getting a parliament back for Ireland.

Life story

Daniel O’Connell was born outside the town of Caherviveen in County Kerry in 1775. He was the eldest of ten children and was adopted, along with his brother, by his wealthy uncle, Maurice, who lived at Derrynane House in nearby Caherdaniel.

Daniel did well at school and in 1790 his uncle sent both boys to study in France. While in France, he saw the violence of the French Revolution and this experience gave him a hatred of mob violence for the rest of his life. After his schooling, Daniel became a famous barrister. He died in 1847 during the Great Famine.