Phelim O'Neill, 2nd Baron Rathcavan

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Rathcavan
Leader of the Alliance Party
In office
Preceded by Oliver Napier
Succeeded by Oliver Napier
Personal details
Born (1909-11-02)2 November 1909
Died 20 December 1994(1994-12-20) (aged 85)
Castlebar, County Mayo
Nationality British
Political party Alliance
Ulster Unionist
Spouse(s) Clare Blow (m.1934–44, dissolved)
Bridget Coke (m.1953)
Relations Hugh O'Neill (father)
Terence O'Neill (cousin)
Children 6
Alma mater Eton College
Profession Officer

Phelim Robert Hugh O’Neill, 2nd Baron Rathcavan, PC (NI) (2 November 1909 – 20 December 1994), was a politician in Northern Ireland and a hereditary peer in the British House of Lords.

The son of The Hon. Hugh O'Neill, a Unionist politician, Phelim studied at Eton College before joining the Royal Artillery. He became a Major during World War II.

O'Neill was elected to Westminster for the Ulster Unionist Party at the 1952 North Antrim by-election, succeeding his father. He stood down at the 1959 general election. At the 1958 Stormont elections, he was elected, again to represent North Antrim. In 1969, he briefly served as Minister of Education before becoming the Minister of Agriculture. In 1958, he was appointed High Sheriff of Antrim.[1]

O'Neill joined the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland in 1972, and acted as its leader at the Darlington Conference. At the 1973 Northern Ireland Assembly election, he was unsuccessful in North Antrim. In 1982, he succeeded his father as the second Lord Rathcavan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "No. 1906". The Belfast Gazette. 3 January 1958. p. 2. 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hugh O'Neill
Member of Parliament for North Antrim
Succeeded by
Henry Maitland Clark
Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
William McCleery
Member of Parliament for North Antrim
Parliament abolished
Political offices
Preceded by
William Fitzsimmons
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
William Long
Preceded by
James Chichester-Clark
Minister of Agriculture
Succeeded by
Harry West
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hugh O'Neill
Baron Rathcavan
Succeeded by
Hugh O'Neill