Tip O'Neill Homestead

Tip O'Neill Monument Buncrana
Tip O'Neill Monument Buncrana

T.P. O’Neill (1912-1994) Irish American Politician (1926-1987) & Speaker (Leader) of the American House of Representatives (1977-1987)

For 10 years Tip O’Neill was, as Speaker of the American House of Representatives, the 3rd most powerful politician in America, after the President and Vice President. Tip achieved over a long political life very great improvements in the lives of not alone his fellow Irish Americans but also of the least privileged in America generally.

His maternal grandmother Eunice (Unity) Fullerton was born outside Buncrana, Co Donegal. He was, therefore an illustrious and eminent member of the Irish Diaspora.

In 1991 President Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – America’s highest civilian award, which is presented for especial meritorious contributions to the national interests of America and World peace. It was well merited by Tip O’Neill.

In 1977 he denounced violence in Northern Ireland and used his influential position as Speaker to play a key and indeed a pivotal role in bringing about peace in Ireland. During the final stages of the discussions he told British officials he could deliver financial support to underpin the Agreement. On the day the Agreement was signed, President Reagan and Tip in a joint announcement gave an assurance of financial support. This resulted in the establishment of theInternational Fund for Ireland (IFI) which since 1985 has paid out millions of pounds/euro to projects in Northern Ireland and the 6 border counties in the Republic.

An annual Tip O’Neill Donegal Diaspora Award has been established to acknowledge his many outstanding achievements, give credit to an illustrious grandson of a Donegal emigrant, and an eminent member of the Irish Diaspora.