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Daniel OConnell
Daniel OConnell

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders

A statue commemorates Irish patriot, Daniel O`Connell (1775-1847) who was also known as The Liberator.

He was the first Irish nationalist leader elected to the House of Commons, creating social reforms that helped the emancipation and recognition of Catholicism by the British Government.

The fine bronze statue of Daniel O'Connell which has been erected in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral was unveiled on Saturday afternoon in the presence of a very large number of spectators and great interest was evinced in the proceedings. The temporary platform provided alongside the statue was crowded, amongst others present being Archbishop Carr, who presided, Mr N Fitzgerald M. L. C., Mr Cox the recently arrived lrish delegate, Member of the House of Commons, Mr Beazley and Mr W. T. Carter M. L. A's and the Revs J. H O'Connell and R. P. Collins.

Sir Bryan O'Loughlen, M. L.A. previous to performing the ceremony, delivered a stirring address on the life of O'Connell. The committee of the O'Connell statue had done him the honour of asking him to unveil a true likeness of the great O'Connell, the liberator of Irish Catholics and the champion of the legislative independence of Ireland. The genius of O'Connell and the confidence he inspired enabled him to carry his great movement for Catholic emancipation to a successful issue; and having won that glorious privilege, the time came when he was determined that another Government should be attempted, and though it was not ordained by Providence that he should be the means of leading the Irish nation out of the house of bondage, yet that desirable object would be attained, for the spirit of the great liberator still lived throughout the world. (Cheers) In this land we were reaping the fruits of O'Connell's exertions in the cause of liberty 50 or 60 years ago, for there was not a great measure of reform that O'Connell and the party he led did not assist the Liberal party in carrying, thus extending not only freedom in religion, but freedom in public and social matters. (Cheers) He hoped they would all act in the spirit that actuated O'Connell extending the Kingdom of God on earth on the lines of civil and religious liberty (Cheers). On behalf of the subscribers to the statue and of the citizens of Melbourne, he had much pleasure in handing over the custody of the statue to the Archbishop of Melbourne and his successors. (Cheers ) The statue was then unveiled Sir Bryan amidst loud cheering.
Excerpt from The Argus (Melbourne), I June 1891. 


Address:Gisborne Street & Cathedral Place , St. Patrick`s Cathedral, East Melbourne, 3002
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.80993
Long: 144.975973
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Monument Designer:Thomas Brock


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 30th May, 1891
Inscription in Proximity


The leading Irish stateman and Catholic Parliamentarian of his day, O`Connell was the founder of the Catholic Association, a mass movement which promoted universal human rights and social justice, exclusively by political means and non-violent action.  He led the struggle to pass the Emancipation Act of 1829 by which the British parliament finally repealed the remnants of the terrible penal laws against Catholics and re-established the basis for the civil and religious rights throughout the British EMpire.

This statue is the work of Thomas Brock A.R.A., was accepted in trust by Archbishop Carr for the citizens of Melbourne, on 14th May 1891.  It was restored in 1998.

This plaque was unveiled by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, on 6th September 1998 to reaffirm the historic links between A

Source: MA,VMR
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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