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Irish Ambassador To UK Has Close Tipperary Roots

Mr Adrian O’Neill, whose mother, the late Breda O’Neill (née Bourke), originated from the area of Milestone, some 22km or 13mls from Thurles, has recently been officially appointed the 17th Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Ambassador O’Neill’s, mother left Co. Tipperary for Dublin back in the 1940’s, before meeting and marrying Tom O’Neill, latter a native of Co. Longford.  Ambassador O’Neill, himself, is married to wife Aisling and they have two children, Tomás and Aoife.

Born November 6th 1957; Ambassador O’Neill’s grandparents (namely Dan Bourke, latter who hailed from Clareen, Ballycahill and Mary his wife), are both buried in the cemetery situated in the picturesque hamlet of Ballycahill, Thurles.  The Ambassador indeed can recall vividly as a young boy, spending enjoyable holiday periods with his late uncle in law; former Garda and later Revenue Official Mr John Haverty, Castlemeadows, Thurles, and thus becoming well acquainted with his numerous rural relatives residing in Co. Tipperary.

Curriculum Vitae
Ambassador O’Neill was educated at Trinity College Dublin, (B.A. Mod. Honours), before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs, in October of 1983 and appointed Third Secretary at HQ (Economic and Political Divisions), holding the post from 1983-1986.

From 1986 through to 1989 he held the post of Third Secretary, at the Irish Embassy in Madrid, before being appointed Third Secretary at HQ (Anglo-Irish Division), from 1989 to 1992.

Appointed Vice Consul, Boston, 1992-1993, he became First Secretary at HQ (Anglo-Irish Division), from 1993 to 1996 and First Secretary, Embassy Washington, from 1996 to 2000.

Posts held, since the start of the 21st century, include Counsellor at HQ, 2000 to 2005 (Anglo-Irish Division); Counsellor in Corporate Services Division (Head of Finance and Management Services) 2005 to  2006; Assistant Secretary (Head of Corporate Services) 2006 to 2009; Director General (Anglo-Irish Division) 2009 to 2010; Secretary General to former President Mrs Mary McAleese, and current President Mr Michael D. Higgins, from 2010 to 2014; and finally, Second Secretary General, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Ireland, UK and Americas Division), June 2014 to August 2017; before being appointed Ambassador of Ireland to the United Kingdom, in September 2017.

Ambassador O’Neill replaces the outgoing ambassador to Britain Mr Dan Mulhall; the latter who has been appointed Ireland’s new Ambassador to the United States, in turn replacing Anne Anderson who now has retired.

While Brexit presently dominates serious dialogue between Ireland, as a member European Union, and Britain, Ambassador O’Neill takes on his diplomatic duties during a crucial period in both countries future, and we wish him every success in his new placement.


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