William Drennan (1754 - 1820) republican, polemicist, poet, and physician was born in Belfast on May 23, 1754. Inspired by the ideas of the Enlightenment and the American and French revolutions, he was one of the primary movers in the United Irishman, an organization dedicated to the establishment of an independent republican Ireland regardless of creed or property holding status.
Drennan's radical beliefs resulted in his arrest in 1794 on charges of sedition. He was acquitted of the charges but appears to have withdrawn from active leadership of the United Irishmen subsequent to his trial. This retreat helped him avoid the outcome experienced by many republicans as a result of the failed 1798 revolution.
Drennan opposed the 1801 Act of Union which terminated the Irish Parliament and had devastating economic consequences for Dublin. He was notable for his advocacy of women's suffrage. He died on February 5, 1820 in Belfast