Irish political leader (1775-1847)
Daniel O'Connell (Irish language: Dónal Ó Conaill; 6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847), known as "The Liberator" or "The Emancipator", was Ireland's predominant political leader in the first half of the nineteenth century.
- The altar of liberty totters when it is cemented only with blood
- Written in his Journal, Dec 1796, and one of O'Connell's most well-known quotes. Quoted by O'Ferrall, F., Daniel O'Connell, Dublin, 1981, p. 12
- Gentlemen, you may soon have the alternative to live as slaves or die as free men
- from his speech in Mallow, County Cork
- Good God, what a brute man becomes when ignorant and oppressed. Oh Liberty! What horrors are committed in thy name! May every virtuous revolutionist remember the horrors of Wexford!
- Written in his Journal, 2nd Jan 1799, referring to the recent 1798 Rebellion. Quoted from Vol I, p. 205, of O'Neill Daunt, W. J., Personal Recollections of the Late Daniel O'Connell, M.P., 2 Vols, London, 1848.
- My days – the blossom of my youth and the flower of my manhood – have been darkened by the dreariness of servitude. In this my native land – in the land of my sires – I am degraded without fault as an alien and an outcast.
- July 1812, aged 37, reflecting on the failure to secure equal rights or Catholic Emancipation for Catholics in Ireland. Quoted from Vol I, p. 185, of O'Connell, J. (ed.) The Life and Speeches of Daniel O'Connell, 2 Vols, Dublin, 1846)
- How cruel the Penal Laws are which exclude me from a fair trial with men whom I look upon as so much my inferiors...
- O’Connell’s Correspondence, Letter No 700, Vol II
- I want to make all Europe and America know it – I want to make England feel her weakness if she refuses to give the justice we the Irish require – the restoration of our domestic parliament...
- Speech given at a ‘monster’ meeting held at Drogheda, June, 1843.
- There is an utter ignorance of, and indifference to, our sufferings and privations….What care they for us, provided we be submissive, pay the taxes, furnish recruits for the Army and Navy and bless the masters who either despise or oppress or combine both? The apathy that exists respecting Ireland is worse than the national antipathy they bear us.
- Letter to T.M. Ray, 1839, on English attitudes to Ireland (O’Connell Correspondence, Vol VI, Letter No. 2588).
- No person knows better than you do that the domination of England is the sole and blighting curse of this country. It is the incubus that sits on our energies, stops the pulsation of the nation’s heart and leaves to Ireland not gay vitality but horrid the convulsions of a troubled dream.
- Letter to Bishop Doyle, 1831 (O’Connell Correspondence, Vol IV, Letter No. 1860).
- The principle of my political life …. is, that all ameliorations and improvements in political institutions can be obtained by persevering in a perfectly peaceable and legal course, and cannot be obtained by forcible means, or if they could be got by forcible means, such means create more evils than they cure, and leave the country worse than they found it.
- Writing in The Nation (Irish newspaper), 18 November, 1843.
- No man was ever a good soldier but the man who goes into the battle determined to conquer, or not to come back from the battle field (cheers). No other principle makes a good soldier.
- O’Connell recalling the spirited conduct of the Irish soldiers in Wellington’s army, at the Monster meeting held at Mullaghmast. Envoi, Taking Leave of Roy Foster, by Brendan Clifford and Julianne Herlihy, Aubane Historical Society, Cork.pg 16
- England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity
- Quoted in Speake, Jennifer; Simpson, J. A. (2015). The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs. Oxford University Press. p. 92. ISBN 9780198734901.