Bullet holes in the arms of ‘The Liberator’

This statue was commissioned in 1880 to commemorate Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847) after whom the street was also renamed after Irish independence. O’Connell was born in Kerry and believed in employing peaceful tactics to achieve change. He fought for Catholic emancipation within the British Parliamentary system and the repeal of the Act of Union. He organized ‘Monster Meetings’ where literally hundreds upon thousands of people came to hear him speak. This monument was sculpted by John Henry Foley (1818-74) who was the leading sculptor of the day and who at the same time worked on the Albert Memorial in London. The statue features O’Connell and below him is a cross-section of people from all levels of Irish society. If you look at the arms carefully you can see bullet holes shot during the 1916 Rising.