Exhibitions

There are currently exhibitions relating to the life of Daniel O’Connell on display in the Library and the Study.
Highlights from the Study are presented here; visit the house to see the many more items which make up the full exhibition.

The Life of Daniel O'Connell: Exhibition in the Study

Use the arrows to the left and right to explore some highlights from the Library exhibition.

Candlesnuffer

There is a large body of folk tales and songs celebrating O’Connell’s intelligence and cunning. One story described how a maidservant warned him in Irish about an attempt by his enemies to poison his wine at a dinner in London. 144 variations of this story have been recorded. The one associated with this candlesnuffer is that O’Connell used it to knock over the poisoned wine while pretending to quench a candle.

The Clare Sash

O’Connell’s success in the County Clare election of 1828 allowed him to go to Westminster and demand the right for Catholics to sit in Parliament. His constituents presented him with this sash to mark his victory.

1831 Medallion

Medallion marking the introduction of the first Reform Bill, 1831. O’Connell supported the British Prime Minister, Earl Grey, when he introduced a Reform Bill to improve the electoral system and make Parliament more representative.

1832 Medallion

This is a General Election Commemorative medallion from 1832. It marks the election of Daniel O’Connell and his fellow Repeal candidate, Edward Ruthven, as Members of Parliament for Dublin City on 17 December 1832.

Trowel

This trowel was used to lay the first stone of the Ruthven Monument, on the 14th of January, 1839. O’Connell laid the foundation stone of a memorial in Glasnevin Cemetery to Edward Ruthven, his fellow Repeal MP for Dublin. Their re-election in 1835 was disputed by their political enemies and the stress of this controversy played a part in Ruthven’s early death the following year.

Dress Sword

This dress sword was largely decorative and would have been worn by O’Connell on ceremonial occasions.

Waistcoat

This is a section of a waistcoat believed to have been owned by Daniel O’Connell. Its size and design suggest that he would have worn it as a younger man. It was kept as a memento by the McCan family of Ballyowen House in Tipperary who were relatives of the O’Connells.

Donated by Mr Frank McCan, Ballyowen House, Cashel, Co. Tipperary

You may also be interested in viewing items from the permanent collection.

View the Collection