William Drennan (1754-1820) was one of the founding members of the Society of United Irishmen, founded in Belfast in 1791. The son of a Presbyterian minister, Drennan helped to draft the constitution as well as the oath of the society. Drennan was also a renowned poet, credited for coining the phrase “The Emerald Isle” in regards to Ireland. Drennan was charged with sedition yet acquitted thanks to his legal defence in the form of the celebrated barrister John Philpot Curran in 1794. Drennan played little role in the United Irishmen following this and took no part in the 1798 rebellion, however Drennan would write an impassioned pamphlet in opposition to the 1800 Act of Union. In 1814, Drennan would found the Belfast Academical Institution before passing away in 1820.
Wake For William Orr (1797)