Fonds Accession 2006 03 - Patrick O'Neill fonds

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Patrick O'Neill fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Reference code

CA ON00389 Accession 2006 03

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Dates of creation area


  • 1875-1998, predominant 1918-1938 (Creation)
    O'Neill, Patrick, 1875-1938

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Physical description

0.75 metres of textual records
4 photographs

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Biographical history

Patrick O’Neill was born in Annaghmore, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, in 1875. He married Mary (Minnie) McConville in 1903 in Portadown, County Armagh, and they moved to Warrenpoint, County Down, where he became the proprietor of the Victoria Hotel. They had five children: Mary Theresa (Molly), Harry Gerard, Bernard, Patrick, and Nora. Mary died (likely in childbirth) in 1911. In 1913, Patrick O’Neill married Brigid Smith in Moynalvey, County Meath (Republic of Ireland), and they had four children: Brigid (Dolie), Jim, Teresa V. and Nuala. Patrick O’Neill and his family lived at the Crown Hotel in Warrenpoint, which he purchased in 1913. In his early political career, Patrick O’Neill served as Chairman of the Warrenpoint Urban District Council, as well as Justice of the Peace, for a number of years. He was appointed as the presiding officer at the Warrenpoint Town Hall polling station during the 1918 general election in Ireland, and then in 1920, he ran unsuccessfully in the election for County Councillors for County Down. That year, the Government of Ireland Act was introduced to establish the partition of Ireland and create two devolved parliaments within the UK. O’Neill was elected to the newly formed Parliament of Northern Ireland as a nationalist MP for County Down in the 1921 general election. To protest the fact that Northern Ireland was established to have a Unionist majority, the Nationalist party members, including O’Neill, abstained from taking their seats during the first parliament. O’Neill was re-elected in the 1925 election, and in early 1926 decided to enter parliament. In 1928, he was elected as a joint honourary secretary of the newly formed National League of the North. He sat in the Northern parliament for County Down until 1929 when the Unionist government eliminated proportional representation, and then he sat for the newly created Mourne division until his retirement in 1938. Patrick O’Neill died in 1938 in Warrenpoint.

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Custodial history

The papers were donated to the Special Collections by Seamus Beattie, a grandson of Patrick O'Neill. The material was selected from a larger collection of papers and memorabilia in the O'Neill home by Seamus Beattie and Mark McGowan, Principal of the University of St. Michael's College. The material was shipped by mail from Ireland and received by the John M. Kelly Library in July 2006.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of Patrick O’Neill’s incoming and outgoing correspondence with constituents, government officials, supporters, and other MPs; official documents; political pamphlets and booklets; election posters and flyers; newspaper clippings; personal records (notebook, speech notes); photographs; and personal memorabilia, including a leather pouch with relics of St. Anthony and St. Oliver Plunket. Fonds also includes a sous-fonds of O’Neill’s daughter, Teresa V. O’Neill. The Teresa V. O’Neill sous-fonds includes a draft of her doctoral thesis and correspondence related to her role of literary executrix of her father’s estate. Fonds is comprised of the following series: Election materials Correspondence with constituents Collected materials Personal memorabilia

Notes area

Physical condition

Majority of records in poor condition, with some documents in very poor condition.

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

Some access restrictions apply for conservation and content reasons. Correspondence series closed until 2020.

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Finding aids

Print finding aid available on site.

Associated materials

Additional records relating to Patrick O'Neill's political activities are located at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

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  • English

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