May 15, 1847

Daniel O’Connell died on this day in 1847. Often referred to as The Liberator or The Emancipator, O’Connell was a gifted orator. Born in County Kerry on August 6, 1775, he studied law and became a barrister in 1798. In 1811, he established the Catholic Board, championing Catholic emancipation. In 1841, he became the first Catholic Lord mayor of Dublin. He then led a series of “monster rallies” to campaign for the repeal of the Act of Union. These were attended by upwards of 100,000 people. O’Connell died in Italy, while on pilgrimage to Rome. He was 71. His body was returned to Ireland and buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. His heart, in accordance with his wishes, was buried in Rome (at the chapel of the Irish College).

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