Beginning of the Penal Laws

7th September 1695
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On the 7th of September 1695, the Penal Laws came into effect in Ireland

The Penal Laws were a set of sanctions on the rights of Catholics in Ireland. What follows is a list of some, but not all of the restrictions that were placed on Catholics;

  • Catholics could not serve in Public Office
  • Catholics and Protestants could not intermarry
  • Catholics could not own firearms
  • Catholics could not vote
  • Catholics could not inherit land
  • Catholics could not adopt orphaned children
  • Catholics could not receive an education

The Penal Laws were in direct violation of the 1691 Treaty of Limerick which had granted Catholics religious freedom and equality. 

The Penal Laws did not come to a complete end until the Emancipation Act of 1829 which was largely achieved through the efforts of Daniel O'Connell.