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Painter whose works show a rich imaginative streak, born and died in Belfast, Northern Ireland, although between 1958–71 he was based in London. After an elementary school education O’Neill had a short time at Belfast College of Art and in the studio of Sidney Smith, worked as an electrician for several years painting part-time, then with the encouragement of the dealer Victor Waddington became a professional artist. After a solo show with Waddington in Dublin in 1946, O’Neill’s work began to be widely seen, including in Dublin at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art shows; RHA; Tooth; and with CEMA at Belfast Museum and Art Gallery in 1952. There was an important show in Belfast at McClelland Galleries in 1970. Ulster Museum and other public collections hold examples.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)

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