Curran, John Philpot (kŭrˈən) [key], 1750–1817, Irish statesman and orator. He became the best-known trial lawyer in Dublin when he was still very young and entered the Irish Parliament in 1783. He fought for Catholic Emancipation and vigorously opposed the repressive policy of the British government in Ireland. He was defense lawyer for the leaders of the United Irishmen after the 1798 rebellion. He opposed the parliamentary union (1800) of Ireland with England, but refused to support acts of open rebellion. Subsequently he sat in the privy council of Great Britain. His daughter, Sarah, was in love with Robert Emmet, who was captured and hanged when he came to Dublin to visit her.
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