General John O'Neill arrived in the United States from Ireland in 1848. He volunteered for service in the Union Army and served as an officer in numerous regiments during the Civil War. While distinguishing himself during his Civil War experience, O'Neill's historical significance arises from his service, beginning in 1866, with the Fenian Organization, whose stated goal was to create and support an Irish state independent from British rule. On June 1, 1866, O'Neill led a Fenian invasion of Canada with the goal of using occupied territory as a bargaining point for Irish freedom. The invasions would ultimately fail to achieve their stated goals and O'Neill was arrested by United States Marshalls upon returning to the United States. In an effort to advance Irish settlement in the United States and improve the living conditions of fellow countrymen, O'Neill led the establishment of Irish "colonies" within the United States. The area that would come to be known as O'Neill, Nebraska, was principally among these settlements. O'Neill died on January 8, 1878, and was buried in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Service will be held at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Omaha on March 15th at 1pm.