Swimmer Michelle De Bruin Banned. Daniel O’Connell – The Great Emancipator on this day in Irish History.

August 6: TODAY in Irish History:

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Daniel O'Connell

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.



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1775: Daniel O’Connell

Daniel O’Connell is born in Cahirciveen, Co Kerry. O’Connell would go on to be one of the most important figures in Irish political and Catholic civil rights history. In 1829, the Roman Catholic Daniel O’Connell appeared in the House of Commons to take his seat as newly elected MP for Clare and refused to take the Oath of Supremacy which included  “the sacrifice of the Mass, and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and other saints, as now practiced in the Church of Rome, are impious and idolatrous;” and to deny the position of the Pope. O’Connell refused the oath stating “I decline, Mr. Clerk, to take this oath: part of it I know to be false; another part I believe not to be true.”

O’Connell was a rock star politician and fine orator who drew huge crowds. His actions and the concerns of the Prime Minister Duke of Wellington (born Dublin 1769) that continued refusal to provide the vote to Catholics would generate further unrest ensured the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act. O’Connell’s popularity apparently had King George IV complaining “‘O’Connell! God damn the scoundrel.’ Oh, the duke of Wellington is king of England, O’Connell is king of Ireland and I suppose I am only considered as dean of Windsor’.

Daniel O’Connell originally won a by-election in County Clare in 1828 defeating William Vesey Fitzgerald. but was not allowed take his seat refusing to swear an Oath of Supremacy that was incompatible with his Catholic faith.

Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O’Connell 1775-1847

Page on Daniel O’Connell in FOR THE LOVE OF BEING IRISH.

Daniel O’Connell in For the Love of Being Irish

Page on Daniel O’Connell in FOR THE LOVE OF BEING IRISH.


Detailed Biography of O’Connell at History of Parliament




1998: Michelle de Bruin is banned

Irish swimmer Michelle de Bruin is banned for four years after being found guilty of tampering with a drug test.

De Bruin had been the golden girl of Irish swimming, winning three Olympic medals at the 1996 games in Atlanta. Her performances in Atlanta gave rise to much muted comment about a dramatic improvement in her times. US swimmer Janet Evans was more vocal stating at one press conference  stating that the Irish swimmer’s performance was “questionable and suspicious.” Supporters decried the comments as jealousy. At the same time, the Irish media did not cover itself in glory with the national broadcaster RTE apparently decreeing that comment about possible drug taking should be not be referenced by commentators.  See swimmer Gary O’Toole’s comments.

The ban arose from a drugs test in January 1998 at her home as part of the out-of-competition doping control programme run by FINA – the world governing body of swimming.  FINA said her urine sample showed  “unequivocal signs of adulteration” and had an alcohol content (to mask drug taking) that was “compatible with physical manipulation”.

De Bruin’s Dutch husband, discuss thrower Erik had previously been banned for drug taking

De Bruin won gold in the 400m individual medley, 400m freestyle and the 200m individual medley and bronze in the 200m butterfly event. She was not stripped of her medals and today remains Ireland’s most successful Olympian. She has always denied taking performance enhancing drugs.

For opposing views on Michelle de Bruin, see

How Waters Rose to Engulf Irish Idol


Michelle de Bruin deserves Benefit of the Doubt





WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)


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