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The Civic Public Square

Fergus O’Ferrall

…We are all your children, or rather, your pupils; you are our master, our model, our glorious preceptor. It is for that reason we are come to tender you the affectionate and respectful homage we owe to the Man of the age who has done most for the dignity and liberty of mankind and especially for the political instruction of Catholic nations.” Charles de Montalembert’s Address to Daniel O’Connell, Paris, 1847.

Daniel O’Connell’s career decisively shaped the involvement of the Roman Catholic Church in Irish public life. In this essay I aim to outline briefly the key phases in O’Connell’s long public career which influenced profoundly how Catholicism responded to political developments in Ireland. I hope then to reflect on some of the longer term consequences for both the Roman Catholic Church and for the evolution of public life in Ireland. In conclusion I discuss some possible models, in the light of O’Connell’s convictions, as to how Christian Churches and other faith communities might make positive and sustained contributions in the public sphere to the common good in contemporary Ireland and into the future.

To appreciate fully O’Connell’s formative influence on the involvement of the Roman Catholic Church in Irish political development it is necessary to recall the position of the Catholic population in regard to public life before 1829 and indeed for a substantial period after formal emancipation was achieved. The Irish Census of 1821 recorded 6,801,827 people in Ireland. The vast majority ‑ about 80 per cent ‑ of these were Catholic. Yet Catholics were, in effect, almost totally excluded from political and public life: Protestants, though a very small percentage of the population except in parts of Ulster, dominated every branch of civil and public life. The total exclusion of Catholics from political power from the 1690s was designed by the Protestant ruling class to protect the landed estates which they owed to confiscation and the main instrument employed we know as the Penal Laws. By the beginning of O’Connell’s public career in 1800 a gradual thaw had begun for the hitherto completely frozen-out Catholic population: Catholics were admitted to the lesser grades of the army, they might take leases and purchase land, be educated, and have bishops and priests resident legally in Ireland. In the 1790s they might become junior barristers and hold the franchise but, of course, not sit in parliament.

The Catholic population suffered both formal and virtual exclusion from a vast array of offices. In 1829 Thomas Wyse itemised 748 offices connected with the administration of justice from which Catholics were legally excluded; of a further 1,314 offices to which Catholics had legal eligibility only thirty-nine were actually filled by them and of these twenty were police constables. Wyse noted that to these offices there “should be added the long and most important list of Justices of the Peace, and Grand and Petit Jurors, and the army of constables, in which, could they be procured, the same proportions would be found to exist”. When Wyse listed the offices of civil rank , or of honour, from which Catholics were excluded by law they amounted to 780, though some of these, sheriffs for example, overlapped with those involved in the administration of justice; of over three thousand offices of civil rank, military rank, or of honour connected with trade, manufactures, education, charitable institutions and so on to which Catholics were legally eligible, such as the Bank of Ireland, Royal Irish Academy, and many others, fewer than 140 were held by Catholics.

In a speech on February 2nd, 1811, Daniel O’Connell itemised “the offices of trust, honour and emolument” from which Catholics were excluded, amounting to 21,261 offices by which they were excluded by positive enactment and a further 9,229 from “which they are almost, with equal certainty excluded, by the spirit and operation of the law” to a total of 30,490.

It was not until the O’Connell/Whig alliance in the mid-1830s, when Michael O’Loghlen became solicitor-general, that the first Catholic since the reign of James II was to hold high office in Ireland. It would be difficult to overestimate the sense of Catholic exclusion from public life and the power of the drive in O’Connellite popular politics to break down the power and privilege represented by the Protestant grip on all places, offices and patronage .

According to Lecky, Irish Protestants had grown up “generation after generation, regarding ascendancy as their inalienable birthright; ostentatiously and arrogantly indifferent to the interests of the great masses of their nation, resisting every attempt at equality as a kind of infringement of the laws of nature”. It is in this very unpromising context that Daniel O’Connell set out to create a national public life in Ireland and he necessarily had to employ the resources of the only national body not controlled by government or Protestants ‑ the Catholic Church.

It is relevant to record Michael Davitt’s estimate of Daniel O’Connell’s contribution to creating a new public life in Ireland:

Ireland has never produced a greater man than O’Connell, and Europe very few that can truly be called his equal in the work of uplifting a people from the degrading status of religious and political serfdom to conditions of national life which necessarily created changes and chances of progress that were bound to lead on to the gain of further liberty. His fame lies in the fact that he did this practically alone. He created a national public opinion in Ireland; without a press he welded an ignorant people into a huge combination, unparalleled in the annals of reform movements, and fought the enemies of his cause, in and out of Parliament, with an ability and a mighty resourcefulness of power, aggressive capacity, eloquence, knowledge, and wit never equalled by any popular leader ever produced by any other race.

O’Connell first had to win the Catholic hierarchy to his viewpoint of an independent Church. When the Act of Union was passed in 1800 Catholics were supportive of the union: they expected that emancipation would follow. Catholics, at that stage notably the archbishops and bishops, were prepared to offer “safeguards” or “securities” to accompany emancipation. Such arrangements were compatible with the doctrines of the Catholic Church and were ordinary practice throughout European states. We recollect that until 1766 the Stuart monarchs had the right to nominate to vacant Irish bishoprics. The most important security was the “Veto”: this involved giving the government some form of control over the appointment of Catholic bishops and possibly of parish priests. After the union there remained considerable suspicion in government circles of the Catholic clergy and bishops and of their possible “treasonable” activities. Another security aimed to institutionalise the state’s claims on the loyalty of the Catholic clergy by provision of a state salary. Daniel O’Connell was the most decisive force against such a “qualified Emancipation”. In a letter written as early as 1807, he placed the Catholic claims “on the new score of justice ‑ of that justice which would emancipate the Protestant in Spain and Portugal, the Christian at Constantinople”.

He believed that religious liberty was a right for all persons; he sought all through his life to convince the Protestant establishment that it was possible to combine the fullest civil liberty with fidelity to the faith and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. He also struggled for a number of decades to convince Catholic bishops to oppose any veto or “securities” when seeking Catholic Emancipation. In the end he did take the Catholic Church from a position of acceptance of state payment and a state veto to a policy of open and defiant repudiation of both measures. It took O’Connell from 1808 to 1815 to do this and it cost him and the emancipation movement a most divisive and bitter split, which lasted almost a further ten years until 1823 when the Catholic Association was founded upon the principle of “unqualified Emancipation”. The battle over the veto ‑ which O’Connell won and which confirmed his place as the most important leader in Irish Catholic politics ‑ positioned the Catholic Church to play an independent role, retaining the trust of the people, in Irish public life and popular politics: this was unique in Europe in this period and O’Connell’s “liberal Catholicism” was soon attracting the attention of many in Europe, such as Charles de Montalembert, Alexis de Tocqueville, Gustave de Beaumont and others who travelled to Ireland to explore the phenomenon.

O’Connell’s cause of “unqualified Emancipation” – “unrestricted, unqualified, unconditional” ‑ as expressed during the veto battle, was that of a very advanced liberal Catholic. His speech of January 24th, 1815 against the rescript giving assent to the veto ‑ a rescript soon withdrawn by Pope Pius VII ‑ is remarkable and worth quoting:

I am sincerely a Catholic but I am not a Papist. I deny the doctrine that the Pope has any temporal authority, directly or indirectly in Ireland; we have all denied that authority on oath and would die to resist it. He cannot, therefore, be any party to the act of parliament we solicit, nor shall any act of parliament regulate our faith or conscience.
In spiritual matters too, the authority of the Pope is limited; he cannot, though his conclave of Cardinals were to join him, vary our religion either in doctrine or in essential discipline, in any respect. Even in non-essential discipline the Pope cannot vary it without the assent of the Irish Catholic bishops.

On April 14th, 1829, which he described as “the first day of freedom”, Daniel O’Connell, in a letter to Edward Dwyer, his able permanent secretary of the Catholic Association, wrote:

It is one of the greatest triumphs recorded in history – a bloodless revolution more extensive in its operation than any other political change that could take place. I say political to contrast it with social changes which might break to pieces the framework of society.

The Catholic Church in Ireland was central to the achievement of this constitutional revolution and to the birth of Irish democracy and O’Connell was the midwife. He devised a novel strategy in 1823-24 to break the deadlock on the Catholic question. The first and most important element in the new strategy was to expand the range of issues, grievances and questions dealt with by the association: in the process he politicised every issue affecting either the Catholic people or the Catholic Church. This changed the nature of the demand for emancipation from one seeking an equality of privilege for a wealthy section of Catholics to a demand for the liberation of the whole Catholic people from their grievances, whether agrarian, judicial, religious, administrative or political. From the 1820s, “the power of common grievance” has been tapped by popular politics in Ireland, right up to the clientelist aspect of our democratic system today.

The second element in the new strategy was to provide a framework for the political response of the Catholic masses as they responded to the publicising of their grievances. For this he turned to the Catholic Church. He had priests admitted as members without payment of a subscription. A great boost to clerical involvement came with the publication of Bishop James Doyle (JKL)’s Vindication of the Religious and Civil Principles of the Irish Catholics in October 1823.

The third and final element in birthing Irish democracy was the Catholic Rent. The countrywide collection of regular contributions provided both the resources for the campaign and built a nationwide political organisation. O’Connell, in the six years of the dramatic Catholic Emancipation struggle, developed the first continuous and systematic mass democratic movement in Europe. Although lay leadership drawn from the Catholic professional and middle classes was predominant in the Catholic Association the role of priests was crucial at local level. O’Connell gave them a very direct interest in the campaign through contributions to education and helping with parish needs from the proceeds of the rent. The Catholic Rent involved the Catholic Church on a massive scale in the struggle and thus, uniquely in Europe, the Catholic Church helped spearhead a liberal and democratic movement. Despite the Catholic hierarchy’s attempts in the 1830s to forbid political activity by the Catholic clergy – which Rome supported ‑ O’Connell’s novel clerical-political machine fashioned in the 1820s survived. This shaped Irish popular politics decisively in the sense that the Catholic Church retained a direct and active role in electoral politics and sought control over certain domains of public life, such as education.

In a letter written in March 1828 O’Connell exclaimed:

How mistaken men are who suppose that the history of the world will be over as soon as we are emancipated! Oh, that will be the time to commence the struggle for popular rights.

O’Connell was as good as his word. His political efforts from 1830 to his death in 1847 were on a larger stage than before emancipation. He began to operate full-time in a highly sophisticated fashion, at a number of diverse levels: in the House of Commons as an outstanding parliamentarian; in Ireland building and leading the first Irish political party and its local political machinery; channelling the great popular agitation of the “Tithe War”; playing a significant role in liberal, radical and humanitarian movements in Britain, Europe and America. O’Connell had forced his way into parliament at the age of fifty-five and, as Oliver MacDonagh has observed, he “ranged against him the peculiar combination of insolence and frightened ruthlessness which marks a privileged order under threat”. O’Connell’s relationship with Catholicism during this period and the roles played by Catholic bishops and priests has merited and continues to merit in-depth study and analysis.

I believe it is important to distinguish Daniel O’Connell’s personal political philosophy from the political manoeuvres he engaged in from time to time in his unequal engagement with the “privileged order” in Britain and Ireland. O’Connell was a superb tactician, ever ready to secure an instalment when the whole was simply not attainable. He subordinated his radicalism in the period before 1829 in order to focus upon emancipation. During the 1830s and 1840s significant changes were secured ‑ changes which advantaged an ever more confident Catholic Church.

The Established Church was reformed in the Irish Church Temporalities Act in 1833 and after this, in Lecky’s phrase, “it continued to be an anomaly” but “it ceased to be a scandal”. Tithes were abolished under the Tithe Act, 1838, and arrears between 1834 and 1837 were written off. During the Whig alliance from 1835 to 1840 very significant advances were made in the first attempt to translate the fruits of emancipation into more equal treatment for Catholics by the government.

Behind all these steps advancing the place of Irish Catholics and the Irish Catholic Church in public life were the persevering efforts of O’Connell, as he tacked and wove his way through often stormy seas. He was the first European and Roman Catholic politician to achieve significant victories in the cause of civil and religious liberty in the oppressive age of Metternich. His method was to apply “moral force”, that is, disciplined public opinion. What made him unique was that he combined advanced liberal achievements with his strong Catholic faith. He espoused the principle of the separation of church and state. He found the Irish Catholic Church, because of history, a “poor” church dependent upon the voluntary commitment of its members and independent of the State apparatus. It provided a working model of O’Connell’s ideal relationship. He was bound to oppose the Established Church, given its gross revenues received from Catholics and its corrupt state. He never sought the Catholic Church to simply replace it as the church of the majority. He opposed the temporal power of the pope and argued, as we have seen, in the Veto controversy in 1815 that the pope had spiritual power subject to the national hierarchy of Catholic bishops. Indeed O’Connell supported the social mission of the Catholic Church as being on the side of the poor, to be, as he wrote in 1842 in his Observations on the Corn Laws,

at the side of the people; the mitigator of poverty and the comforter of the distressed; the opponent of aristocratic selfishness; the true guardian of the poor of the Lord.

O’Connell had to work hard to win over the Irish Catholic bishops as a national hierarchy. He knew he had to bind up Catholic religious and ecclesiastical ambitions with the campaign for self-government by the Irish people. It is clear, for example, that the revival of the Repeal agitation in the 1840s required O’Connell to spell out a special relationship with the Catholic Church in order to secure its support for the campaign. He did this to Paul Cullen, rector of the Irish College in Rome, in a letter. Persuasively and lawyer-like, he spells out the advantages that “Catholicity” would derive from Repeal, even to the extent of suggesting that Protestantism, under Repeal, “would not survive ten years” as Irish Protestants were “political Protestants, that is Protestants by reason of their participation in political power” to the exclusion of Catholics. In holding forth this glowing future for the Catholic Church under Repeal, O’Connell went dangerously close to compromising the secular nature of the state which he favoured under Repeal. He had already signalled to Archbishop MacHale in 1839 that in a Dublin parliament there would be Catholic control over education for Catholics.

By clearly seeking a rally for “Catholic Ireland” and conceding vital domains to the Catholic Church, O’Connell succeeded in obtaining MacHale’s powerful support for the Repeal agitation from 1840. He spelled it out in July 1840 in a private communication to MacHale:

In short, if we had the Repeal,
Religion would be free
Education would be free
The Press would be free.
No sectarian control over Catholics, no Catholic control over sectarians; that is no species of political ascendancy. The law would of course sanction in the fullest measure the spiritual authority of the episcopal order over religious discipline amongst Catholics including Catholic education.

This compact between Irish nationalist movements and the Catholic Church remained the basis of all future constitutional movements for legislative independence. Since the 1970s the compact has been the source of great political and constitutional debates in relation to sexual morality, healthcare and to a much lesser extent educational provision. Only in the twenty-first century has this clash between what may be described as a Catholic integralist vision, (which seeks the protection of Catholic moral teaching by enshrining it in the law and in the Constitution), and a secular pluralist vision, (which seeks to make laws on an inclusive basis of the needs of all citizens), entered perhaps a totally new phase with the recent law on abortion.

O’Connell experienced the earliest round of this prolonged historical drama in 1844-45 in the dispute over the Colleges Bill, when his stance in support of the Catholic Church’s objections to mixed Protestant and Catholic higher education helped alienate the small band of Protestant Repealers, led by Thomas Davis, in the Repeal Association. Geraldine Grogan’s detailed examination illuminates the complexities of the issue. She shows that the Young Ireland leaders themselves were subsequently advocates of denominational education – notably Charles Gavan Duffy in the Victoria Assembly in 1869 ‑ and that there was a principle at stake for O’Connell – one that all Christian Churches then fought for – that each Church should be entitled to influence, if not control, the education of its own members. John O’Connell argued that Daniel O’Connell’s opposition to “vetoism of every kind and any description” was consistent with his stand on the “infidel Colleges Act” of 1845. We would find many today who would support the right of Churches and faith communities to control the education of their own members. It is argued that churches as civil society organisations have a right to provide what we now call public services with support from the State as appropriate and fair as between all faith communities. In addition state control of education in O’Connell’s mind would be in his own day both anti-national and anti-Catholic. The Freeman’s Journal of May 13th, 1845 reported his view:

While I ask for education for the Catholics, I freely and gladly concede it to the Protestants and Dissenters … Let the Protestants of the Establishment have the free use of Trinity College … Let the Presbyterians have the completest control over the education of their children in the Belfast Institution, but for the purposes of Catholic instruction, let two more colleges be instituted.

Speakin at a public dinner in his honour in Tralee on October 24th, 1817, O’Connell said: “My political creed is short and simple. It consists in believing that all men are entitled, as of right and justice, to religious and civil liberty.”

There are, as Montalembert suggested, in Daniel O’Connell’s convictions lessons for “Catholic nations” as to how the relationship between the Catholic Church and the liberty of all citizens might be developed. We may summarise O’Connell’s remarkable political stance ‑ that churches and states must be completely separated and all must have freedom of conscience – “two great principles” as he outlined in a speech in 1814: “first, that of an eternal separation in spirituals between our Church and the state; and secondly, that of the eternal right to freedom of conscience.”

We must remember that after O’Connell’s lifetime key developments radically changed the Irish course of developments in respect of the position of both Church and State and in the kind of Irish nationalism which became dominant in Ireland. These developments included the application of an ultramontane Catholicism, led by Cardinal Cullen and exemplified in the National Synod of 1850. This was accompanied by what has become known as the “devotional revolution” in the practice of popular piety in the wake of the Famine. The rationalist, utilitarian and Enlightenment-informed nationality espoused by O’Connell was overshadowed after his death by a romantic and ethnically-based nationalism as was espoused by Young Ireland from the 1840s. In addition, as the decades went on, the scope of the state’s responsibilities became greatly enlarged and it began to be assumed in the twentieth century that it would be responsible for welfare, healthcare and education to a degree that would have astonished O’Connell and his contemporaries.

It is of paramount importance in this second decade of the twenty-first century to reflect anew on the place of Catholicism in Irish public life. We are obliged to reflect on this key topic in the wake of the great humiliation of the Catholic Church because of the scandal of child abuse which has been uncovered since the 1990s. Our reflections occur also in the wake of the defeat of the main public policy positions assumed by the Catholic Church in the great debates over the “liberal agenda” since the 1970s. Of course the search for models for churches and faith communities to participate positively in the public square in democratic societies is one which confronts western societies generally. Irish society is, like other societies, having to learn how to live and hopefully flourish when there are deep differences in society.

It is generally conceded that churches and other faiths have a right to express their faith-informed views in public and to participate in debate, deliberation and decisions taken by democratic organs in the interest of the common good. However, occasionally voices are raised stating that religion is a private affair and that religious views ought not to intrude on public policy matters. Aggressive atheists such as Richard Dawkins and others have led the charge in this regard. Churches which make themselves look silly with expressions of poorly evidenced statements and which align themselves with organisations which use methods which undermine deliberative democracy play into this dangerous mindset ‑ one which sees only a privatised religion for those eccentric enough to like that kind of thing for themselves.

The Catholic Church, and the other Christian Churches in Ireland to a lesser extent, focused in the main on single issue politics in the public square – contraception, divorce and abortion. In this they have failed to bring the wealth of Christian social teaching to bear on all human development issues which arise in public life: justice, poverty, corruption, sectarianism and racism, healthcare and so many more come readily to mind. Of course there are excellent statements from the churches on such matters, but they are not advanced with the vim and vigour that issues to do with sex and sexual reproduction have been now for decades.

It is time for the Christian Churches to fundamentally rethink how they ought to witness to the Gospel in current circumstances and for the future. It has been well remarked that the Irish Constitution of 1937 is “tentatively poised between competing, contradictory visions of the State-religion relationship”. New and clear thinking is necessary, even urgent.

In a recent article, entitled “The Catholic Church in Ireland: ‘what must we do?’”, Fr Jim Corkery SJ asks a key question:

Should Church people, especially those in positions of leadership such as bishops, priests, theologians, listen to the secular realm? Have we anything to learn from it? It seems to me that we stand under an imperative at present to listen anew, and to listen in places where, precisely as Christians of influence, we will not be comfortable and where things will be said that challenge what we have been told is the right way to do things, the so-called appropriate manner of acting. Precisely here, there comes into focus an attitude that is habitually taken by many in Church leadership to the world that exists beyond the church: that its wisdoms are questionable, easily discountable, maybe even tainted.

This question begs Christians to understand that God is ahead of them in the “secular realm” and a listening Church will be a learning Church better positioned to discern the “signs of the times”. It further suggests that the model used by Catholicism in Ireland since O’Connell’s time – which might be described as that of the “sacred public square” is a disaster for both Church and State. John Mc Gahern records in his Memoir that “the country I grew up was a theocracy in all but name”.

This model implies that there is one true religion that must be supported by public laws, constitution and in practical public policy implementation: whether the religion is Islam or Catholicism the consequences are fatal for a functioning democracy. The alternative model that is suggested by many secularists and atheists is what might be described as the “naked public square”. This would eliminate all religious and faith-based public contributions and argues that such have no place in seeking to influence democratic debate. This seems to me to both be impractical and also, if even partially effective, to be totally destructive of values which underpin a democratic way of life, including those based on our Christian-Jewish heritage in western societies such as the value we place on human life and human dignity and the set of human rights that arise from such values.

There is a third model, which I suggest owes most to O’Connell’s concepts, and which meets the needs of both democratic societies and of the Catholic Church and other Christian Churches: it might be described as the “civil public square”. This model rejects both the privatisation of faith and the politicisation of faith. Daniel O’Connell’s pioneering commitment to the separation of Church and State lays the basis for the model of the “civil public square”. This model involves a vision of public life in which citizens of all faiths are free to enter and engage the public square on the basis of their faith, but within a constitutional and legal framework of what is agreed to be just and free for other faiths too: a right for a Christian is a right for a Jew, is a right for a secularist, a right for a Mormon and a right for a Muslim, as O’Connell made clear.

Christians, as People of the Good News, should desire not just to speak the Good News, but to embody and be Good News for our country and for all our people. Such an approach is consistent with the recent social teaching of the Catholic Church and that of other Christian Churches. It is also consistent, as Iseult Honahan has argued in her recent Studies article, with a civic republican approach which is based on the value of non-domination and which requires recognising the equal status of all citizens and their religiously very diverse composition.

The influential political philosopher Michael Sandel, in arguing for a “new politics of the common good”, has shown persuasively that justice in society involves cultivating virtue and also reasoning about the common good:

A just society can’t be achieved simply by maximising utility or by securing freedom of choice. To achieve a just society we have to reason together about the meaning of the good life, and to create a public culture hospitable to the disagreements that will inevitably arise … The challenge is to imagine a politics that takes moral and spiritual questions seriously, but brings them to bear on broad economic and civic concerns, not only on sex and abortion.

A leading Catholic politician in the United States, Governor Mario Cuomo, explored the kind of model I am now describing as the “civil public square” in a paper he delivered at the University of Notre Dame on September 13th, 1984. He stated that he was a

… Catholic who holds office in a pluralistic democracy ‑ who is elected to serve Jews and Muslims, atheists and Protestants, as well as Catholics … [who] undertakes to help create conditions under which all can live with a maximum of dignity and with a reasonable degree of freedom; where everyone who chooses may hold beliefs different from specifically Catholic ones ‑ sometimes contradictory to them, where the laws protect people’s right to divorce, to use birth control and even to choose abortion.

Cuomo’s position was that all religiously based values do not have “an a priori place in our public morality”; therefore, Catholics are called to live out their faith in daily life according to the Church teaching they accept but they are not called to vote en masse specific and controversial Church teaching into civil law: they are free to build a consensus in society around values they cherish but the acceptance of them in democratic society will depend on gaining support for them based upon the public reasons and the evidences advanced which are credible and accessible to all citizens.

Cuomo’s argument is that the Christian faith is not secured by constitutional or legal enactments: the churches need to be kept independent of such power and they should avoid overdependence on the state in order for each church to retain its prophetic role in society and to be enabled to proclaim the Gospel fearlessly. Christian values do not depend upon a statute to support them; Cuomo concludes:

We can be fully Catholic; proudly, totally at ease with ourselves, a people in the world, transforming it, a light to the nation. Appealing to the best in our people not the worst. Persuading not coercing. Leading people to truth by love. And still, all the while, respecting and enjoying our unique pluralistic democracy. And we can do it even as politicians.

I suggest that Daniel O’Connell, as the founding father of our Irish democracy, would strongly support these sentiments and a “civil public square” for citizens of all faiths and none.

Note on sources

For Thomas Wyse see: Thomas Wyse Historical Sketch of the Late Catholic Association of Ireland, 2 Vols., (London 1829), Vol. 2, pp. cclxxxii-ccxc. For 1811 speech of O’Connell see: The Select Speeches of Daniel O’Connell, M.P. edited by his son, John O’Connell, 2 Vols. (Dublin, 1862), Vol. I pp. 31-35. For quotation from Lecky see: W.E.H. Lecky, The Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland, 2 Vols. (London 1881), Vol. 1, p.80. For quotation from Davitt see: Michael Davitt, The Fall of Feudalism in Ireland The Story of the Land League Revolution, (London, 1904) p.35. For correspondence of O’Connell see: The Correspondence of Daniel O’Connell, ed. Maurice R. O’Connell in eight volumes (Vols. 1-11, Shannon, 1972, and Vols.111-VIII, Dublin, 1973-80. For O’Connell’s views on the temporal and spiritual authority of Rome see: John O’Connell, The Life and Speeches of Daniel O’Connell, M.P., edited by his son John O’Connell, M.P., (Dublin, 1846) Vol. ii, p.178; and see The Select Speeches of Daniel O’Connell, M.P., Vol.1, p447; see also the Remonstrance to Pope Pius VII concerning the Veto, September, 1815.
For Geraldine Grogan see: See Grogan, “The Colleges Bill 1845-49” in O’Connell Education, Church and State Proceedings of the Second Annual Daniel O’Connell Workshop (Institute of Public Administration, on behalf of DOCAL ‑ Daniel O’Connell Association, Dublin, 1992) pp. 19-34; on this topic see also “The ‘Godless Colleges” 1845-1846’ in Donal A. Kerr, Peel, Priests and Politics Sir Robert Peel’s Administration and the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, 1841-1846 ( Oxford, 1982) pp. 290-351. For John O’Connell’s view see John O’Connell, The Life and Speeches of Daniel O’Connell, Vol.2, p.175. For an analysis of religion and the 1937 constitution see: Eoin Daly, Religion, Law and the Irish State the Constitutional Framework in Context, (Clarus Press, Dublin, 2012). For Jim Corkery SJ, see Corkery “The Catholic Church in Ireland: ‘What must we do?’ (Acts 2:37)”, Studies An Irish Quarterly, Vol.100, No.398, Summer 2011, p.197. For Iseult Honahan see Honahan, “Religious Diversity and the Republic”, Studies An Irish Quarterly, Vol. 102, No 406, Summer 2013, pp203-212. For Michael Sandel see: Sandel: Justice What’s the Right Thing To Do? (Penguin Books, London, 2009), pp261-262.


Dr. Fergus O’Ferrall has written a number of books and articles on Daniel O’Connell including Daniel O’Connell, Dublin, 1981 and 1998) Catholic Emancipation Daniel O’Connell and the Birth of Irish Democracy 1820-1830, (Dublin, 1985); Liberty and Catholic Politics 1790-1990 (The Freehold Press, Belfast, 1990); “A Prophet of a Coming Time”: Daniel O’Connell, Civic Republicanism and Twenty-first Century Ireland” in An Dragún Dian Dónall Ó Conaill Éigse na Brídeoige 2005 in eagar ag Seán Mac an tSíthigh (Coiscéim, Baile Ātha Cliath, 2005), pp.43-62; “Daniel O’Connell and Iveragh” in The Iveragh Peninsula A Cultural Atlas of the Ring of Kerry, eds. John Crowley and John Sheehan, (Cork University Press, 2009), pp.200-206; he has edited a collection of essays, Towards A Flourishing Society (TASC, Dublin, 2012) launched by President Michael D Higgins in the Royal Irish Academy.



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