Daniel O'Connell duel re-enacted at Glasnevin

Duel reenactment

By Alan O'Keeffe

A famous duel fought by Daniel O'Connell and John Norcott D'Esterre was re-enacted on its 200th anniversary within sight of O'Connell's tomb in Glasnevin Cemetery.

The event featured actors Ed Cosgrave and Jim Roche playing O'Connell and D'Esterre.

D'Esterre, who was nearing bankruptcy in 1815, challenged O'Connell to a duel after he took personal insult at a remark in a speech in which "the Great Liberator" described the ascendancy-managed Dublin Corporation as "beggarly".

D'Esterre was fatally injured in the duel.

It was a busy day at Glasnevin yesterday as a different event commemorated Irish soldier Michael O'Leary who displayed remarkable bravery in World War One.

Earlier yesterday, Ian Robertson, chairman of the Irish Guards Association, and John Green, chairman of the Glasnevin Trust, unveiled a memorial stone in commemoration of Victoria Cross (VC) recipient O'Leary near the Cross of Sacrifice.

Mr Green said O'Leary had demonstrated "the true meaning of valour".

The unveiling marked the 100th anniversary of the heroic deed of O'Leary, from Inchigeela, Co Cork, when he was a 24-year-old member of the Irish Guards in France.

His VC citation read: "When forming one of the storming party which advanced against the enemy's barricades he rushed to the front and himself killed five Germans who were holding the first barricade.


"After that he attacked a second barricade, about 60 yards further on, which he captured, after killing three of the enemy and making prisoners of two more. Lance Corporal O'Leary thus practically captured the enemy's position by himself."

O'Leary became a lieutenant in the Connaught Rangers. He was promoted to major in World War Two.

He died 1961 and was buried in London.