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Monday, 15 May 2017

15‭ ‬May‭ ‬1847:‭ The death of Daniel O’Connell‭  ‘‬The Liberator‭’ ‬at Genoa in Italy while making his way to the Holy City of Rome on this day.‭ He died ‬at‭ ‬9.35‭ ‬p.m.‭ in the evening. His heart was taken on to Rome‭ (‬now lost‭) ‬and his body was returned to Dublin for internment in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery.‭ He tomb was eventually capped by a replica Irish Round Tower that is the centrepoint of the necropolis and is still visited by thousands of people every year.

On May‭ ‬15,‭ ‬1847,‭ ‬Father Miley,‭ ‬O'Connell's companion on his last journey,‭ ‬wrote from Genoa:‭ ‬“The Liberator is not better.‭ ‬He is worse‭ – ‬ill as ill can be.‭ ‬At two o'clock this morning I found it necessary to send for the Viaticum and the holy oil.‭ ‬Though it was the dead of night,‭ ‬the cardinal archbishop‭ (‬he is eighty-eight years old‭)‬,‭ ‬attended by his clerics and several of the faithful,‭ ‬carried the Viaticum with the solemnities customary in Catholic countries,‭ ‬and reposed it in the tabernacle which we had prepared in the chamber of the illustrious sufferer.‭ ‬Though prostrate to the last degree,‭ ‬he was perfectly in possession of his mind whilst receiving the last rites.‭ ‬The adorable name of Jesus,‭ ‬which he had been in the habit of invoking was constantly on his lips with trembling fervour,‭ ‬His thoughts have been entirely absorbed by religion since his illness commenced.‭ ‬For the last forty hours he will not open his lips to speak of anything else.‭ ‬The doctors still say they have hope.‭ ‬I have none.‭ ‬All Genoa is praying for him.‭ ‬I have written to Rome.‭ ‬Be not surprised if I am totally silent as to our own feelings.‭ ‬It is poor Daniel who is to be pitied more than all.‭”
Henry Peel OP

St Martin de Porres Magazine,‭ ‬a publication of the Irish Dominicans.

He was the greatest Irish political figure of the 19th century but curiously not the most revered. A great orator and a man of impressive appearance and political acumen he was considered too cute by half by both allies and opponents. However he rose a People off their knees and showed that it was possible to build a mass political movement in Ireland that could only be defeated when faced by Force of Arms and not the Force of Argument.