Why Ireland should be proud of Daniel O’Connell and his Dublin statue

Stephen Collins: Ireland can take pride in its statue of towering anti-slavery figure

The Daniel O’Connell statue on O’Connell Street, Dublin. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

The Daniel O’Connell statue on O’Connell Street, Dublin. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Amid all the furore about statues and slavery, there has scarcely been a word about the fact that the most prominent statue in Dublin commemorates a political figure who had a profound impact on the slave trade. That politician was Daniel O’Connell whose statue stands proudly at the entrance to the main street of the city named in his honour.

Unlike other cities where heated debates are taking place about the appropriateness of leaving certain statues on their plinths, the people of Dublin can have nothing but pride in the statue of O’Connell because, among other things, he was one of the leaders of the campaign to abolish slavery in the British empire.

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