One of the top things on my list to visit in County Kerry was the home of Daniel O’Connell, Derrynane. I bet you can guess why! Yep, the O’Connell name. Now I will say that as of right now I have not found any connection to the family of Daniel O’Connell. I have compared our DNA to that of known descendants of Daniel’s and it does not look like we have a connection within the last 15 generations. So, why did I want to visit? Again, the O’Connell name is enough for me and Daniel is probably the most famous O’Connell out there.
Derrynane is on the Ring of Kerry, about half way through it. So we had a good 1.5 hour drive to get there. Of course, we are driving through the mountains of County Kerry, so the ride seemed like it was much longer. I have to say that the drive was definitely full of beautiful scenery. We stopped many times just to take pictures of the scenery.
Once we got to Derrynane, we took 20 minutes to watch a video on Daniel and his life. I definitely recommend doing that, especially if you do not know much about Daniel. I will be honest and say that all I knew is that he fought for religious rights in Ireland and was called The Great Liberator.
After that we were allowed to tour his home. They had so many items from Daniel’s life. It was great to see that someone was saving these items and that they knew that one day they would be of great significance.
Daniel’s wife is buried close to Derrynane house, on Abbey Island. Pictures of the graves and what remains of the Abbey can be found here. Unfortunately, we did not get out there. It was a rainy day and the road was too muddy to pass. Daniel is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin.
Those working at Derrynane house are very helpful with sharing information. Once I mentioned I was an O’Connell and interested in seeing if my line has any connection to Daniel they gave me a copy of the family tree that they have. It is important to note that Daniel’s wife, Mary is an O’Connell by birth as well. They were distant cousins. I look forward to digging into her family to see what I can find.