Morgan O'Connell

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Morgan O'Connell (31 October 1804 – 20 January 1885), soldier, politician and son of Daniel O'Connell, the Liberator. He served in the Irish South American legion and the Austrian army. He was MP for Meath from 1832 until 1840 and afterwards assistant-registrar of deeds for Ireland from 1840 until 1868. He did not agree with his father on the repeal question, but fought a duel with Lord Arden, on his father's account.[1]


O'Connell, second son of Daniel O'Connell, was born at 30 Merrion Square, Dublin, 31 October 1804. In 1819 General Devereux came to Dublin to enlist military aid for Simón Bolívar. He succeeded in forming the Irish South American Legion, and O'Connell was one of the officers who purchased a commission in it. The enterprise was mismanaged; there was no commissariat organisation on board the ships, and a part of the force died on the voyage. The remainder were disembarked on the Spanish Main at Santa Margarita, where many deaths took place from starvation. A portion of the expedition, under Feargus O'Connor, effected an alliance with Bolivar, and to the energy of these allies the republican successes were chiefly due. O'Connell returned to Ireland after a few years, but only again to seek foreign service in the Austrian army.[2]

On 19 December 1832 he entered parliament in the Liberal interest, as one of the members for Meath, and continued to represent that constituency till January 1840, when he was appointed first assistant-registrar of deeds for Ireland, at a salary of £1,200 a year, a place which he held till 1868. In politics he was never in perfect accord with his father, and his retirement from parliament was probably caused by his inability to accept the Repeal movement. During his parliamentary career he fought a duel with William Arden, 2nd Baron Alvanley, a captain in the British Army, at Chalk Farm, on 4 May 1835. A challenge had been sent by Alvanley to O'Connell's father, who, in accordance with a vow he had made after shooting D'Esterre, declined the meeting. Morgan thereupon took up the challenge. Two shots each were exchanged, but no one was hurt. He afterwards, in December 1835, received a challenge from Benjamin Disraeli, in consequence of an attack made on Disraeli by Morgan's father. Morgan declined to meet Disraeli.[3]


Morgan O'Connell was one of seven children (and the second of four sons) of the Irish Nationalist leader Daniel and Mary O'Connell. His brothers Maurice, John and Daniel were also MPs.

O'Connell married, on 23 July 1840, Kate Mary, youngest daughter of Michael Balfe of South Park, County Roscommon. He died at 12 St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, 20 January 1885, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery on 23 January.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Boase 1895, p. 401.
  2. ^ Boase 1895, p. 400.
  3. ^ Boase 1895, pp. 400,401.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBoase, George Clement (1895). "O'Connell, Morgan". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography 41. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 400,401.  The entry cites:
    • Hitchman's Public Life of the Earl of Beaconsfield, 1881, pp. 47–55;
    • Greville's Memoirs, 1874, iii. 256–7;
    • Times, 5 May 1835 p. 4, 31 Dec. 1835 p. 5, and 22, 23, 24 Jan. 1885;
    • Freeman's Journal, 21 Jan. 1885 p. 5, 24 Jan. p. 6;
    • Burke's Landed Gentry, 1894, i. 79;
    • cf. art. O'Connell, Daniel, the ‘Liberator.’

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Plunkett,Baron Killeen
Member of Parliament for Meath
With: Henry Grattan 1831–1842
Succeeded by
Matthew Elias Corbally