An Original Feature Film
Based on the Life of Daniel O'Connell

     Produced in association with StoryQuest Video, THE LIBERATOR is an original,  full-length, independent film based on the life of Ireland's Daniel O’Connell.   Sweeping yet intimate, this true story traces O’Connell’s rise from the dirt floors of a peasant cottage in Kerry to the marble steps of the Palace of Westminster in London.

 ' Armed only with faith, wit and eloquence, Irish champion Daniel O’Connell leads a peaceful rebellion against English tyranny that ends 300 years of exile from Parliament.  But when the ultimate prize – Ireland’s nationhood – comes within his reach, will The Liberator remain true to the path of peace? '

     THE LIBERATOR features over two hundred amateur collaborators drawn from a community of talented volunteers dedicated to telling the story of their forbears in faith.  Please visit IMDb - The Liberator for additional information.

the Film image
DVDs and Blu-ray discs are now available for online purchase!  Here is the link to order:  THE LIBERATOR DVD/BLU-RAY

Theatrical viewing licenses, which allow group screenings, are also available for purchase.  Please email for more information.  

The filmmakers are quaint, if not old-fashioned, and recommend screening THE LIBERATOR with a group of friends shoulder-to-shoulder in a theater or other suitable venue.  Blend with Irish beverages to enhance conversation and camaraderie.

It's easy to arrange an enjoyable event for your group. By purchasing a Theatrical Screening License for a flat fee, the Licensee may screen the film before an audience up to a pre-determined size. A DVD or Blue-ray will be shipped, and the Licensee will have up to 12 months to screen the film. An admission may be charged, and the Licensee retains all proceeds.

Please email for additional information.
Yes!  The film has been honored with several festival awards.
StoryQuest Video is the production company run by our amazing cinematographer and editor, Jake Schmiedicke.

Immensely talented and dedicated to the art and craft of cinematic storytelling, Jake helps businesses, non-profits and individuals communicate their message through compelling and end-to-end video production. In short, he makes brilliant films and videos and is a joy to work with.

Visit his website below to learn more and get in touch.

Yes!  Please visit our IMDb page for streaming options.

The Liberator IMDb​​​

There is no official rating, but it would probably be a PG for a brief description of violence and brief depiction of violence in a duel.
Please email with questions.

       “I do not forget your soldiers, orators, or poets - any of your leaders. But when I consider O'Connell's personal disinterestedness - his rare, brave fidelity to every cause his principles covered, no matter how unpopular, or how embarrassing to his main purpose, that clear far-reaching vision, and true heart, which, on most moral and political questions, set him so much ahead of his times; his eloquence, equally effective in the courts, in the senate, and before the masses; that sagacity which set at naught the malignant vigilance of the whole imperial bar, watching 30 years for a misstep; when I remember that he invented his tools, and then measure his limited means with his vast success, bearing in mind its nature; when I see the sobriety and moderation with which he used his measureless power, and lofty, generous purpose of his whole life - I am ready to affirm that he was, all things considered, the greatest man the Irish race ever produced.”

- Wendell Phillips, American Historian and Abolitionist
Although statues, monuments, streets, bridges and a church are dedicated to Daniel O’Connell throughout the world, little is commonly known about the man who peacefully overcame hundreds of years of legal persecution and forged a national Irish identity during the first half of the 19th century.

There is much good reading about Daniel O'Connell. Here are but two suggestions:
Anthony Esolen - "Soldier for Liberty" and Olivia O'Leary - "Greatest of All Politicians"  

O'Connell's people imageO'Connell's people image
Asenath Nicholson on the Irish Peasant

Asenath Nicholson was a Protestant American widow who visited Ireland and attempted to alleviate the suffering during the famine years. In her diary, she chronicled her interaction with destitute Irish peasants, and was often amazed to find among the filth and dirt, “kindness,” “benevolence,” patience” and “content.” One passage in particular stands out:
     Next morning the tempest was still high, and, venturing upon the strand, I saw there, as at Valencia, crowds of females busied. Speaking to one, she replied:
     ‘These stawrmy nights, ma’am, blow good luck to the poor. They wash up the say-weed, and that’s why you see so many of us now at work.’
     The company increased until I counted more than sixty, and busy, merry work they made of it, running with heavy loads upon their heads, dripping with wet, exultingly throwing them down, and bounding away in glee. Truly, a merry heart doth like a medicine.
     ‘And are you not cold?’
     ‘Oh no, ma’am, the salt say keeps us warm. The salt say never lets us take cold.’
     ‘And how many days must you work in this way before you get a supply?’
     ‘Aw! Sometimes not forty, but scores of days.’ 
     ‘And all you have for your labour is the potato?’ 
     ‘That’s all, ma’am, that’s all. And many of us can’t get the sup of milk with ‘em - nor the salt.  But we can’t help it. We must be content with what the good God sends us.’
     She hitched her basket over her shoulder, and in company with one older than herself, skipped upon the sand made wet with rain, and turning suddenly about, gave me a pretty specimen of Kerry dancing as practiced by the peasantry.
     ‘The sand is too wet, ma’am, to dance right well on.’  And again, shouldering her basket with a ‘God speed ye on your journey,’ leaped away.
     I looked after them among the rocks, more with admiration for the moment than with pity; for what hearts among splendor and ease, lighter than these? And what heads and stomachs, faring sumptuously every day, freer from aches than theirs with the potato and the sup of milk? 
     This woman who danced before me was more than fifty, and I do not believe that the daughter of Herodias herself was more graceful in her movements, more beautiful in complexion or symmetry, than was this dark-haired matron of the mountains of Kerry.”

Daniel O'Connell

By Fergus O’Ferrall. Published in 1981. Scholarly, factual and an enjoyable read. Provides an excellent summary of O’Connell’s life and career along with a few thoughts about his legacy.

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The Great Dan

By Charles Chenevix Trench. Published in 1984. A longer, solid biography that delves deeply into the polities of O’Connell’s time. The narrative is helped by interesting anecdotes.

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King of the Beggars, Daniel O’Connell and the Rise of Irish Democracy

By Sean O’Faolain. Published in 1938. My favorite biography. The first chapter (Proem) about the years preceding O’Connell is a challenging read, but once it gets into O’Connell’s life it does so dramatically and with a heavy emphasis on O’Connell’s impact on the ordinary Irishmen of the the time. The author takes pains to credit O’Connell with forging Ireland’s national identity.

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Popular Life of Daniel O’Connell

By Chrysostom P. Donahoe. Published in 1875. Somewhat harder to find, as an older book. Unabashedly pro O’Connell, hence I love it! Also includes the Funeral Oration of Padre Ventura at Rome, Father Burke’s Sermon at Glasnavin and Wendell Phillips’ Centennial Oration.

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Daniel O’Connell - A Graphic Life

By Jody Moylan. Published in 2016 An enjoyable and accessible read with many illustrations. Good for all, but especially for younger readers.

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