This year marks the bi-centenary of the opening of Kilmainham Courthouse, and one of the most dramatic events in its history. On 30 December 1820, Daniel O’Connell led a revolt at a meeting of the freeholders of County Dublin. The freeholders were those men in the county who held sufficient property to be entitled to vote. The meeting had been called by the King’s representative in the county, the High Sheriff Sir Richard Steele. Steele was part of the British government’s administration in Ireland and tried to force the freeholders to issue a loyal address to King George IV. The King was particularly unpopular at the time, not only because of his extravagance and self-indulgence, but also because of his attempt to divorce his wife, Queen Caroline. Many of those who opposed the King and his government took up the cause of the injured Queen.