The O’Connell monument is located at the south end of O’Connell Street in Dublin. The monument was built to commemorate ‘the liberator’ Daniel O’Connell and was unveiled in 1882. It consists three sections. At the top is a statue of O’Connell. The middle section of the monument is a frieze consisting of an array of figures including the ‘Maid of Erin’ holding a copy of the Act of Catholic Emancipation. The base section is of limestone with four figures representing Patriotism, Fidelity, Courage and Eloquence.
Daniel O’Connell was a native of Co Kerry. He qualified as a barrister and became involved in politics. He believed in the use of peaceful tactics to achieve change and led the successful campaign for Catholic Emancipation. He was elected as MP for Clare in 1828 but was not allowed to take his seat until the passing of the Catholic Relief Act of 1829.
Following his re-election in 1829 O’Connell became one of the first Catholics in modern history to sit in the British House of Commons. He went on to lead the campaign to repeal the Act of Union. During the 1840’s he held ‘monster meetings’ around Ireland as part of the campaign. Due to age and ill-health he left Ireland for Rome in 1847. He died in Genoa and his body was returned to Ireland and buried in Glasnevin cemetery.
The O’Connell Monument in Dublin was unveiled in the year 1882 On This Day.
O’Connell Monument, O’Connell St Lower, Dublin