The Rev Dr Henry O’Neill was 58 years old when he was elevated to Bishopric of Dromore in 1901. He was the third son of John O’Neill of Dromore and had a brother Hugh also a priest. Arthur McCann U.C. J.P. was his brother in law. He entered St Colman’s College in 1857 and shortly after, at the suggestion of Bishop Blake [just featured] went to Maynooth College for further study. In 1867 he was ordained by his predecessor as Bishop of Dromore, Dr Leahy [also featured]. He became President of St Coleman’s, a position he held for a decade. The greater part of the rambling St Coleman’s College of today was built under his stewardship.
In 1886 he was appointed Administrator of Clonallon Parish. There he established a Convent of Mercy – which today acts as a refuge and home for elderly people. The nuns also undertook the education of Warrenpoint’s children.
Throughout his term of office, Bishop O’Neill distinguished himself as an eloquent, zealous and earnest pastor. He was also an esteemed scholar universally admired and respected as a tolerant citizen and a broad-minded, courteous gentleman.