|Daniel O’Connell, “The Great Liberator” 1775-1847 |
Irish Parliamentarian and leader of the Catholic emancipation movement
Two leading Brabazons - both Church of Ireland - of the time played significant parts in O’Connell’s movement: the 10th Earl of Meath, John Brabazon, and the 2nd Baronet of Brabazon Park, Swinford, William John Brabazon.
The Earl very courageously permitted a Catholic mass to take place at Killruddery in 1798, the year of the great rebellion. He was a champion of Emancipation and in 1831 Daniel O’Connell commented he was “deeply convinced that Lords Meath and Cloncurry have it in their power to put themselves at the head of the popular party in Ireland, and to do more good to the country, and prevent more evil, than any two persons ever had before”.
Baronet Brabazon was elected in the 1830s as an MP for Mayo, serving then at Westminster until his demise in 1840 of a heart problem. His support of the local community in Swinford was well recognized and his election victory was assured when he won the backing of the nationalist Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, John McHale. In his acceptance speech, Sir William made reference to his ancestor Capt William Brabazon who had fought bravely for King James II at the Battle of Aughrim.