born into an old Gaelic family in 1775. At 23 he
became one of the first practicing Catholic
lawyers in Ireland. By 1808 he was the leading
spokesman of the Catholic Committee pressing for
Catholic civil rights.
impatient with a lac kof progress he established
his own Catholic Association in 1823 which gained
mass support. In the general election of 1828
O’Connell won the Clare constituency but was
prohibited as a Catholic from taking his seat.
Fearing another Irish rebellion the English
government conceded emancipation. For the first
time since 1691 Irish Catholics were allowed to
stand for and sit in parliament.