Curran, John Philpot

Curran, John Philpot

(kŭr`ən), 1750–1817, Irish statesman and orator. He became the best-known trial lawyer in Dublin when he was still very young and entered the Irish Parliament in 1783. He fought for Catholic EmancipationCatholic Emancipation,
term applied to the process by which Roman Catholics in the British Isles were relieved in the late 18th and early 19th cent. of civil disabilities.
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 and vigorously opposed the repressive policy of the British government in Ireland. He was defense lawyer for the leaders of the United IrishmenUnited Irishmen
or United Irish Society,
Irish political organization. It was founded at Belfast in 1791 by Theobald Wolfe Tone. Disgruntled by the use of English patronage to control Irish politics, the organization aimed at legislative reform "founded on the
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 after the 1798 rebellion. He opposed the parliamentary union (1800) of Ireland with England, but refused to support acts of open rebellion. Subsequently he sat in the privy council of Great Britain. His daughter, Sarah, was in love with Robert EmmetEmmet, Robert,
1778–1803, Irish nationalist and revolutionary. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, but left in 1798 because of his nationalist sympathies. In 1800 he went to France, where with exiled United Irishmen he planned a French-aided uprising in Ireland.
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, who was captured and hanged when he came to Dublin to visit her.
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