Charles S. Parnell (1846-1891) was Ireland's principal spokesman for nationalism and home rule during the 1880s. Saint-Gaudens received the monument commission in 1900, and the work began in 1903. This was the last public monument he saw to completion, the cast arriving in Ireland shortly before his death.
In developing the project, Saint-Gaudens made a scale replica of the proposed site in Dublin and also had a wood and plaster full-scale replica of the monument, including the 57-foot-tall obelisk, placed in the field adjacent to his Cornish studio. Henry Hering and Elsie Ward assisted in modeling the statue after the studio fire of 1904, when just the head of the almost-completed monument was saved from destruction. Henry Bacon was the architect. The monument was unveiled in Dublin's O'Connell Square on October 1, 1911.