Derek Shane O'Neill (Shane)

Born: 14 September 1933, Waterford, Rep. of Ireland.
Died: 2 June 2004, Garston, Herts., England.

Married: Sheila Marlin. Ealing Benedictine Abbey, 10 August 1963


Roisin Elizabeth, b. 16 May 1964, Finchley, London, U.K.
Catrine Sacha Ann, b. 24 December 1966, Hemel Hempstead, Herts., U.K.
Liadain Ruth, b. 16 June 1968, Hemel Hempstead, Herts., U.K.
Ailise, b. 23 March 1978, Hemel Hempstead, Herts., U.K.


1945-1951 King's Hospital, Dublin, Rep. of Ireland
1951-1953 Trinity College, Dublin, Rep. of Ireland


Refrigeration Engineer, then Pension and Life Insurance salesman.

Other information:

Shane will be remembered for having in abundance all the virtues that the world associates with the Irish. He was gregarious and had a natural charm and easy manner. He was a colourful and entertaining raconteur, and despite excelling in these ephemeral ways, nonetheless inspired loyalty and kept friends for life. And let's not forget: he was an outstanding sportsman, winning trophies right to the end of his life. He will be greatly missed.

An obituary written by school friend Ben Oakley for the King's Hospital school newsletter:

It was the combination of an instinctive tactical sense with a deadly accurate eye that made Derek such an outstanding sportsman. He excelled at every sport - rugby, hockey, cricket, squash, tennis, golf. His enjoyment derived more from the exercise of his own unique skills - including captaincy - rather than victory over opponents. If he had a fault, it was his tendency to become bored with slow-moving matches, particularly cricket, which sometimes could result in recklessness and histrionics with entertaining but disastrous consequences. At rugby he captained a very successful Junior Cup Team in 1948-49 and played in the 1951 Senior Cup Team Leinster Final. Hockey was Derek's forte: he captained Minor, Junior and Senior Cup Teams and - together with cricket - played competitively until he was almost sixty. After this he concentrated on golf.

Conscripted to the British army in 1954, he - by his own account - spent the two years playing bridge - a lifelong passion - and chess, being flown around Europe with the British Army On the Rhine hockey team. He was the only Private/National Serviceman on a team of "Sandhurst Types".

An interest in the stage, started in King's Hospital, stayed with him all his life. He was a versatile actor with a good singing voice, much in demand for amateur dramatics. Roles ranged from Ralph Rackstraw to Jesus Christ. However, the best performances were impromptu ones: spotting a piano he would accompany himself in the rendering of one of his numerous parodies of operatic arias.

Perhaps the most memorable thing about Shane - as he was known post-King's Hospital - was his fabulous sense of humour and appreciation of the bizarre: but his funny stories were never malicious or hurtful.

With the passing of this talented, original and extrovert character many lives are the poorer, not least those of this wife Sheila and daughters Roisin, Catrine Liadain and Ailise to whom we send our kindest regards.