O'Connell seems almost the forgotten man of Irish history these days. Once revered for his successful campaign for Catholic emancipation, today his name is seldom mentioned apart from the streets and monuments in his name. This must be one of the earliest photographs of the Dublin sculpture minus the fencing, seats and bullet holes?
And indeed BeachcomberAustralia
has confirmed that this image was likely captured sometime shortly after c.August 1882 (when the statue to O'Connell was first erected), but before c.August 1883 (when the figures at the monument's base were added). These four winged "victories" (conspicuous by their absense here) were added to represent O'Connell's believed virtues of patriotism, fidelity, courage and eloquence.....
Collection: Eblana Photograph Collection
Date: Catalogue range c.1870-1890. Likely August 1882 to August 1883 (accompanying statues not yet in place)
NLI Ref: EB_1110
You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie
Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons