Tributes paid to highly-respected journalist (36) who passed away suddenly
Tributes have been paid to a prominent West of Ireland journalist who passed away suddenly at his home last night.
Neill O’Neill was Managing Editor of ‘The Mayo News’ and a highly respected journalist in the region.
The 36-year-old fell ill and died at his home in Rosbeg at The Quay in Westport.
Mr O’Neill had been Managing Editor of the paper since 2011. During this time it won a number of international awards for design, layout and content. He had been working on this week’s edition of the paper until late yesterday.
He is survived by his partner Emma Joyce, parents Colm and Mary, brothers Conor and Finbarr and sisters Aoife and Orla along with a wide extended family and large circle of friends.
The 36-year-old was heavily involved in his local community and the local Westport Chamber of Commerce.
Mr O’Neill became a well known face of regional journalism through his appearance on the first series of the RTE show ‘The Local Eye’ which followed the fortunes of three regional newspapers including ‘The Mayo News’ as they faced new challenges in the digital age.
In a statement from ‘The Mayo News’ today management and staff along with the owners Dermot and Natalie Berry expressed their sincere condolences to the O’Neill family.
Editor of ‘The Mayo News’, Michael Duffy, said the staff of the paper, and the town of Westport in general, is absolutely devastated with the news of Neill’s untimely passing.
"There is just a complete sense of disbelief that our colleague and dear friend Neill has passed away," he said.
"Neill has been the heart and soul of ‘The Mayo News’ since he took over as Managing Editor in 2011, having previously worked as a journalist with the paper from 2007 to 2009.
"We are all struggling to come to terms with the news that someone so energetic, enthusiastic and full of life has been taken from us at such a young age."
Funeral arrangements to follow.