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9950.22 .FIS Vol

1326989 190.

TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND.

Fellow-COUNTRYMEN,

To you I dedicate this, my feeble effort to pourtray the Life and Times of the greatest man, that this, or any other country, ever produced — O'CONNELL—he, who first burst asunder the manacles that had bound you for centuries in religious thraldom; and afterwards struggled, with untiring assiduity, even to the latest moment of his existence, to restore your legislative independence, of which you were foully and fraudulently cheated. The first volume contains the history of his exertions for Catholic Emancipation; and you will find in it, many examples of the indomitable perseverance with which he toiled, and of the unceasing annoyances which his love

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of country entailed on him. The second volume will be a history of his exertions to obtain a repeal of the Act of Union. Though it was God's will that he should be summoned from this world, to receive an enduring reward for his services to religion and his country, before he had accomplished that great undertaking; still, he did enough to teach you, fellow-countrymen, how it is yet to be achieved; namely, by the force of public opinion-by the irresistible agency of moral force—by union, and by perseverance. The second volume will instruct you in the great lessons he taught; and it is because it will do so, and at little cost to your pockets, that I have ventured, humbly, to address the work to you.

I have the honor to be,

Fellow-countrymen,

Your faithful servant,

WM. FAGAN,

FELTRIM, CORK,

September 20, 1847.

PREFACE.

This, the first volume of “ The Life and Times of O'CONNELL," is now presented to the Public, with all its imperfections on its head. Of its kind, it is probably the most rapidly written work that ever issued from the press. The history of its appearance in the Cork Southern Reporter, is shortly this. About a month before Mr. O'CONNELL’s lamented death, information reached the writer, which lest no doubt on his mind that the career of the great patriot was rapidly drawing to a close. Indeed, it was an event to be looked for, every succeeding day. It was suggested to the writer, that he could not better occupy his mind, and remove his thoughts from painful recollections, than by preparing a short “Memoir” of the illustrious man. He availed himself of the suggestion, and set to work, preparing notes, and colleeting the scattered materials in his possession. While thus engaged, cheering news arrived from the Continent, respecting O'CONNELL'S

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health; and the strongest hopes were entertained of his recovery. This caused him to abandon the idea for the time—but, alas! these hopes were like the last flicker of the expiring lamp; for a few posts brought the fatal news of his dissolution. The writer was thrown at once, without further notice, into an undertaking, the extent of which, and the amount of labour attending it, he had no conception of. He wrote under much disadvantage. His other pursuits in life, allowed him little time to employ in the laborious task; and in the midst of the undertaking, came the election for the City of Cork, in which he, unexpectedly, had to play a prominent part. However, he has brought the first volume to a close, and is, already, far advanced in the second. The importance of the work—and the honor of linking his name, in the humblest form, with the IMMORTAL LIBERATOR, inspired him; and as he progressed, he was cheered and encouraged by the kind approval of his friends.

The anxiety, on the part of the public, to have it in their possession in book form, as speedily as practicable, induced the writer, to have it brought out, printed from the same type from which the newspaper impression was taken. This will allow it to be sold at the lowest rate a book of the size can be disposed of; and thus, it will be placed within the reach of even the humblest admirers of O'CONNELL, within a few

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