Despite the successes

Despite the successes, the attempt for the repeal of the act of union was ineffective, due to O’Connell’ failure to secure the act within the peak of the campaign between 1841 and 1847. The demand for the repeal was popular among the Irish (made so by O’Connell), and its failure can be considered to have impacted the emancipation era, causing O’Connell to appear weak and ineffective. This was emphasized by his seemingly peaceful and moderate attitude which worsened public opinion due to his support from the Whigs who had joined British opinion in denying the repeal campaigns. Robert Kee’s provides a similar argument, claiming that the repeal movement had ‘no means of putting pressure on the government’, except by the ‘threat of armed rebellion which O’Connell made clear he would not countenance’. Kee offers a valid argument, as to a certain extent O’Connell’s ‘no compromise slogans’ and the declaration of 1843 being a ‘repeal year’ emphasizes the view that O’Connell was committed towards a cautious direction, despite such actions not taking effect, specifically evident in O’Connell’s submission to the Clontarf meeting in 1843. However, Kee’s view is limited when taking into consideration O’Connell’s efficacy, especially in regards to O’Connell’s rise in support through actions such as the national subscription fees; the repeal rent and the catholic rent which were both massive successes, most evident in January and March 1825 where the 1p a month catholic rent generated £9236 hence reinforcing public support and opinion. Also, Kee undervalues O’Connell’s success, as O’Connell threatened Peel’s authority by funding catholic priest education, thus highlighting O’Connell’s power as well as popularity. Despite such successes, O’Connell’s achievements are somewhat limited as a result of yielding to the British, for example the repression of the catholic association by the British government emphasized O’Connell’s failure as a leader due to his inability to prevent the government’s reaction which reduced his popularity and resulted in considerable backlash. Therefore, O’Connell’s constitutional methods can be considered a failure due to willingly submitting to the British government’s demands thus hindering any real progress from occurring.