Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Obituary

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Obituary

Article excerpt

Maurice R. O'Connell, Professor Emeritus of History at Fordham University and the great-great-grandson of Daniel O'Connell, the Irish Liberator, died at the Gallen Priory Nursing Home, Ferbane, Co. Offaly, Ireland, on September 27, 2005.

The son of Capt. Maurice and Emily O'Connell, Maurice was born on December 30, 1922, in Co. Tipperary. He attended Belvedere College. After failing medical studies in his first year at Trinity College, he worked for the Bank of Ireland for twelve years. Then, as an evening student at University College Dublin, he earned a B.A. degree in 1952 and an M.A. in 1954, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962. He taught a couple of years at the University of Portland, Oregon, before coming to Fordham, where from 1964 to 1988 he taught Modern Irish and British history.

He was an active member of the American Catholic Historical Association from 1965 to 2002, a member of its Executive Council in 1974, 1975, and 1976, and its second vice-president in 1988. He was also a member of the American Conference on Irish Studies, and the Columbia University Faculty Seminar on Irish Studies. Maurice collected and edited his illustrious ancestor's correspondence, which appeared in eight volumes between 1972 and 1980. His work came at a most appropriate period in Irish history. O'Connell's renown had declined in the first half of the twentieth century with the seeming ascendancy of armed revolutionaries as the appropriate champions of the Irish nationalist cause. But popular distaste for the violence that had broken out in Northern Ireland in the 1970's made an Irish public ready to hear the constitutionalist and non-violent message that O'Connell had uttered more than a century before.

Besides editing those eight volumes, Maurice wrote numerous articles and reviews and edited such works as Daniel O'Connell: Portrait of a Radical (1984) and Daniel O'Connell: Political Pioneer (1991). …

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