Dromore (where Dr. Madden was born) is spread on both sides of the River Lagan. Bishop's Bridge, over the river, bears a tablet to Bishop Percy, who occupied the episcopal throne from 1782 to 1811.
Dromore is the ancient ecclesiastical capital of Down, and is believed to be the site of an abbey founded by St. Colman (c. 510). In James I's reign the See was refounded and the cathedral rebuilt, but this was destroyed in 1641, and the present parish church was erected in 1661 by Bishop Jeremy Taylor. Bishop Percy enlarged the Cathedral, building the "Percy Aisle", and rebuilding the tower. Both he and Jeremy Taylor are buried here. Incorporated in the S. wall of the chancel is St. Colman's "pillow-stone", and in the tower porch are the 17 C. font and poor man's box. The Cross of Dromore (8 to 9 c., restored in 1887), an ancient cross on a granite pedestal, is preserved in the graveyard. The parish stocks are in the market square, opposite the town hall.
A quarter-mile from town is the fine Norman earthwork known as Dromore Mound. This 12 C. motte (flat-topped mound, once fortified) and baily, well seen from the Hillsborough Road, is the finest example of such a site in Ulster.
Dromore lies 16.5 miles from Belfast.
Daniel O'Connell was a young and eloquent lawyer who set out to broaden the base of the Catholic Association, seeking to represent the interests of the tenant farmers. In 1828 he presented himself for election, representing Clare, to the British Parliament, on in which he, as a Catholic, could not sit. He was elected with 2057 votes, defeating his opponent who had 982. So dangerous did the general agitation become that both the Duke of Wellington, the Dublin-born Prime Minister, and Sir Robert Peel, the Home Secretary, yielded.
In 1829 the Emancipation Act removed the oath administered on entering Parliament, to which no Catholic could commit, and O'Connell was able to take his seat. The repeal of the "union" and the restoration of the "Irish Parliament" were his next objectives, and he set about the organization of mass meetings throughout the country, but his failing health, the secession of the Young Ireland Party who advocated force, and the famine, caused its essential impetus to be lost some years before his death in 1847.
Source: Gregory Madden, Vaughn Madden.
Dr. Madden named his son, born in 1831, Daniel O'Connell Madden.