Fonds F8 - Patrick O'Neill fonds

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 F8


Patrick O'Neill fonds


  • 1875-1998, predominant 1918-1938 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

75.8 cm of textual records. - 4 photographs

Context area

Name of creator


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 Councilors 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.

Archival 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.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of 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.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Further accruals are expected.

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

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

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Finding aids

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland's Patrick O'Neill finding aid is available in the Rare Books, Archival and Manuscript Collection’s Reading Room.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Additional records relating to Patrick O'Neill's political activities can be found at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Notes area


Title based on contents of the fonds.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Revised by S Rogers, 25 September 2019.




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