Born in Belfast, Daniel O’Neill (1920-1974) was predominantly a self-taught artist, spending some time at the Belfast College of Art and studying briefly under fellow Belfast artist Sidney Smith. He began his career as an electrician, painting in his spare time, but after gaining a gallery contract from Dublin art dealer Victor Waddington in 1945, he was able to take up artistry as a profession.
O’Neill held his first one man show at the Waddington Galleries and was also part of group exhibitions with Gerard Dillon at the Contemporary Painters Gallery. He is known for his expressionist technique and themes of romanticism, taking influence from French painters Cezanne and Rouault.
A retrospective of the artist’s work was held at the Belfast Museum and Art Gallery.