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John O'Connell (MP)

For other people named John O'Connell, see John O'Connell (disambiguation).

John O'Connell JP DL (24 December 1810 – 24 June 1858)[1] was one of seven children (the third of four sons) of the Irish Nationalist leader Daniel O'Connell and his wife Mary. He followed his father as a member of parliament and leader of the Repeal Association.


Educated at Clongowes Wood College, Trinity College, Dublin, and the King's Inns, O'Connell was then called to the bar, but did not practice.[2]

He served in the United Kingdom Parliament as Member of Parliament for Youghal from 1832 to 1837, for Athlone from 1837–1841, for Kilkenny from 1841–1847, for Limerick from 1847–1851 and for Clonmel from 1853-57.[2]

In 1843, O'Connell was tried with his father in the State Trials, and was imprisoned in Richmond prison before being released the next year by an order of the House of Lords. During his father's declining years, he was the dominant force in the Repeal Association and denounced Young Ireland as irreligious and lawless. In 1847, he closed down Conciliation Hall, and in 1848 reacted to the Rising by establishing closer links with the government.[2] Of Daniel's four sons, he was considered to be the only one who inherited something of his father's political skill: he was nicknamed "The Young Liberator", although critics claimed he did little to justify the title.

In 1851, he took part in the downfall of Lord John Russell and the Whigs from government. After being censured by his constituency, he resigned his seat by taking the Chiltern Hundreds. He opposed the Tenant League and was subsequently elected as member for Clonmel in 1853, after which he accepted a sinecure position in the Hanaper Office at Dublin Castle.[2]

O'Connell was not an impressive public speaker, but wrote political works for the Repeal Association.[2]

His brothers Maurice, Morgan and Daniel were also members of parliament.


  • Argument for Ireland (1844)
  • Repeal Dictionary (1845)
  • The Life and Speeches of Daniel O’Connell (1846, ed.)
  • Recollections (1846)

See also


External links

  • Article on Daniel O'Connell in 1911 Online Encyclopedia
  • Hansard 1803–2005:
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hon. George Ponsonby
Member of Parliament for Youghal
Succeeded by
Frederick John Howard
Preceded by
George Benvenuto Mathew
Member of Parliament for Athlone
Succeeded by
George de la Poer Beresford
Preceded by
Joseph Hume
Member of Parliament for Kilkenny
Succeeded by
Michael Sullivan
Preceded by
James Kelly
Member of Parliament for Limerick
Succeeded by
Earl of Arundel
Preceded by
Cecil John Lawless
Member of Parliament for Clonmel
Succeeded by
John Bagwell

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