'It is rather the want of the middle class…' – Galway Advertiser

Week V

For any visitor to Dublin in the early 19th century, to miss seeing the great Daniel O’Connell would have made their visit almost worthless. William Makepeace Thackeray, on the threshold of becoming one of the greatest writers of the English language, spent three months touring Ireland in 1842 collecting his impressions of the ‘manners and the scenery’ of the country and its people, for his successful Irish Sketch Book published some years later. Back in Dublin at the conclusion of his tour he lost no time heading to the Mansion House to see the Liberator in person.*

O’Connell was the Lord Mayor at the time. At the Mansion House (a ‘dingy abode’ according to Thackeray, whose opinion of the great man was not much better but more subtly put ), O’Connell officiated at a full council meeting ‘in a brilliant robe of crimson velvet, ornamented with white satin

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