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February 24, 2013

Heroes: Daniel O'Connell

Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), the "Liberator of Ireland", led a movement that forced the British to pass the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, allowing Catholics to become members of the British House of Commons. O'Connell was a consummate trial lawyer, and by nature a bit of an actor. The English, of course, found him infuriating. He was also a leader who may have done more for Ireland than anyone after him. In a set of lectures John L. Stoddard published in 1901, he said of him:

He was a typical Irishman of the best stock--wily, witty, eloquent, emotional and magnetic. His arrival in town was often an occasion for public rejoicing. His clever repartees were passed from lip to lip, until the island shook with laughter. In court, he sometimes kept the spectators, jury, judge and even the prisoner, alternating between tears and roars of merriment. Celtic to the core, his subtle mind knew every trick peculiar to the Irish character, and he divined instinctively the shrewdest subterfuges of a shifty witness.

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(from previous HO posts)

Posted by Holden Oliver (Kitzb├╝hel Desk) at February 24, 2013 11:58 PM

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