The former Church of Saints Michael & John was built in 1813. Five years later a new bell was hung in the belfry. Nothing unusual about that, you might say, but when it was first rung it caused an outcry and a local Protestant, Alderman Carlton, brought a case to court against the church. The two-hundred year old anti-Catholic Penal Laws were still largely in force which included a prohibition to ring bells from Roman Catholic churches. Daniel O’Connell, after whom O’Connell Street is named and who eventually in 1829 succeeded through parliamentary means in repealing these unjust laws, acted for the defence and so powerful was his argument that the Attorney-General ordered the case to be dropped. The bell later became the official symbol of Catholic Emancipation.