Daniel O’Connell (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Once the leader of the struggle for Catholic emancipation in the British Empire, O’Connell is identified with the principles of religious freedom and separation of church and state, nonviolent reform movements, early democratic organizations, and the upholding of the rule of law.
Daniel O’Connell was born on August 6, 1775, on the southwest coast of Ireland near the small town of Cahirciveen (then a hamlet), in the barony of Iveragh and county of Kerry. Iveragh is situated at the western end of a mountainous peninsula running forty miles out into the Atlantic from the Lakes of Killarney. Its mountains and sea inlets afford beautiful scenery, and nowhere more so than at Derrynane, where O’Connell’s family lived from the beginning of the eighteenth century (Derrynane is now preserved as a national monument). Iveragh had retained much of the Gaelic culture so that O’Connell was born into a society in which perhaps a majority of the people knew no English. Catholic landlords, the O’Connells were the principal family in Iveragh for some centuries before O’Connell was born in 1775. Fostered out at birth to a tenant of his father, in accordance with Gaelic custom, he returned to his parents’ house at the age of four, knowing no English. He was the eldest son in a family of ten children. His father ran a general store in Cahirciveen and invested his profits in the purchase of land....
(The entire section is 2724 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!