Friday, April 7, 2023

The Black Glove, the Marked Pistol and a Triumphal Chariot.

The Black Glove, the Marked Pistol and a Triumphal Chariot.

It must be decades wise I previously visited Derrynane House, the ancestral home of Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator. From that earlier visit, I remembered a carved table with a bunch of dogs (also carved!) sitting underneath. Glad to say the impressive table is still there alongside another eye-catching piece, also carved from oak, this a State Chair and Footstool.

We have all heard of the heroics of O'Connell in the drive for Catholic Emancipation, the amazing momentum he generated on the way to eventual success in 1829.

The "D", roughly engraved, is just above the trigger.

But there was at least one dark cloud along the way, represented by the black glove and the marked pistol on display here in a cabinet. That pistol has a D engraved on it and he used it in a duel in 1815 when he was forty years old. 

O’Connell had described Dublin Corporation as a “beggarly corporation” and an insulted member D’Esterre challenged O’Connell to a duel. D’Esterre’s shot hit the ground but he himself suffered a thigh wound from O’Connell’s shot and died the following day. O’Connell regretted the man’s death and later wore a black glove to mark that regret.

The table was known as a Loo table as it was originally used for a card game of that name

Much later, fighting to repeal the Union with the UK, O’Connell fell foul of the law and ended up in jail. In September 1844, after the British House of Lords overturned their convictions, O’Connell and other prisoners were released. However, they returned to Richmond Penitentiary the next day so a ceremonial release could be staged. 

State Chair
O'Connell left the prison aboard a special triumphal chariot drawn by six grey horses. His grandchildren, dressed in green velvet costumes and white-feathered caps, sat on the bottom level of the chariot with a harpist above them playing Irish songs. Roughly 200,000 people lined the streets to cheer O'Connell. …Despite this large demonstration of popular support, it was to be his last great political triumph. He died in 1847.

The chariot is really impressive and, in 1991, a Coach House was built here at Derrynane to display it! There is of course much more detail and artefacts from the life of the Liberator in the house.

And there are also extensive gardens, some lovely walks among the trees and plants, magnolias were in bloom when we visited. The beach is quite close by, so all in all you can spend quite a while here in Derrynane which is between Sneem and Waterville on the beautiful Ring of Kerry. The Derrynane website is here.

Fern unfolding

Derrynane House Mar 2023

Recent Kerry posts

Killarney's lovely Victoria Hotel

Dinner at The Ivy in Killarney

Dining at The Harrow Killarney

Excellent Lunch at Brehon Hotel

Seeing Red at the lovely Sneem Hotel

Coming Soon

Lunch at Killarney Distillery and Brewery in Fossa.

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