News & Media Centre

The anniversary of Daniel O’Connell’s famous duel

On the anniversary of Daniel O’Connell’s famous duel on 2nd February 1815, learn more about the details and circumstances surrounding this event by visiting the Blaze Away exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks.

Daniel O’Connell, refusing to apologise for his criticism of Dublin Corporation’s neglect of Catholics, was challenged to a duel by John D’Esterre, a member of Dublin Corporation. The duel took place on at Bishopscourt near Naas Co Kildare with both participants firing at the same time however John D’Esterre missed while O’Connell wounded D’Esterre who died the next day.

Elizabeth Evensen of the National Museum said “ The D’Esterre O’Connell duel is probably Irelands most famous duel and the Blaze Away Exhibition explores the history of this gruesome practice using the latest interactive and the museums’ large collection of Irish made duelling pistols”.

Duelling began to decline after this period and indeed O’Connell himself had the death of D’Esterre on his conscience for the reminder of his life. Duelling was so popular in Ireland prior to 1800, that there were 19 companies in Dublin alone who were making or selling duelling pistols. Research has shown that the death rate for duels fought in Ireland was estimated to be 1 in 4, more than in England, which had a death rate of 1 in 14.

For further press information please contact:

Elizabeth Evensen

Marketing Department, National Museum of Ireland

Tel: 01 - 648 6427 Mob: 087 9031690



Notes to Editor

A lecture series coinciding with the new exhibition Blaze Away starts next week on Tuesday 3rd February at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks at 630pm. The lecture series over the next 7 weeks will examine duelling in Ireland and the history of weapon making in Ireland.

Web Design by Arekibo