Death of O'Connell

Justin McCarthy
Chapter XI | Start of Chapter

O'Connell's health utterly broke down under this new national calamity. His last speech in the House of Commons was delivered on February 8, 1847. It was an appeal to Parliament and the Government to deal promptly and liberally with Ireland's need. He spoke in weak, broken, and sometimes almost inaudible tones, contrasting strangely with the well-remembered thrill of that voice which had so often held the House spellbound. O'Connell's physicians ordered him to seek rest in some warmer climate, and he set out for Rome, where it was believed that he wished his life should end. He did not reach his goal, for he broke down completely at Genoa, and died there on May 15, 1847. O'Connell, dying, bequeathed his heart to Rome, and it rests there in the Church of St. Agatha. His body was removed to Dublin, and lies in Glasnevin Cemetery. Even those who are disposed to criticise him most severely will not deny that Daniel O'Connell's resting-place in Glasnevin is the grave of a great man who truly loved his country.