Born Aug. 6, 1775, near Cahirciveen, County Kerry; died May 15, 1847, in Genoa. A member of the Irish national liberation movement and leader of its liberal wing.
O’Connell was a lawyer by profession. In 1823 he founded the Catholic Association, which took the lead in the struggle of the Catholics for equal rights with Protestants. After the Catholic Emancipation Act was passed in 1829, he became the leader of the Irish party in the British Parliament. O’Connell supported the demand for the repeal of the Anglo-Irish Union of 1801.
While relying on a nationalist mass movement, O’Connell sought to keep popular agitation within constitutional limits. He concluded the Lichfield House Compact of 1835 with the Whigs. In 1840 he participated in the founding of the Repeal Association, whose members advocated repeal of the Union. The conflicts between O’Connell and the left wing of the association led to an organizational split in 1846.
REFERENCESMarx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vols. 1, 4, 35 (see Index of Names).
Lecky, W. E. H. Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland, vol. 2. London, 1912.
Macintyre, A. The Liberator: D. O’Connell and the Irish Party 1830–1847. London-New York, 1965.