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Barrister Profile

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CATHRYN O’NEILL

Year of Call: 2012

Main Areas of Practice

Coroners or Inquests
Criminal Law
Family Law
Public Inquiries

Biography

Cathryn was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in September 2012. During pupillage, she was involved in a series of high-profile legacy inquests, historical sexual abuse criminal cases, and numerous judicial reviews.

More recently, Cathryn has worked on both the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry and the Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry. In September 2017, Cathryn was appointed to the Government Legal Services Civil Panel. She is currently accepting instructions in all areas of legal practice.

Prior to call to the Bar, Cathryn enjoyed a successful career as a television producer and researcher spanning 15 years. Working in London, Glasgow and Belfast, Cathryn worked on many critically acclaimed documentaries and series including BAFTA and Royal Television Society award-winning programmes. Cathryn was also a freelance journalist, writing for the Herald newspaper, Scotland’s best-selling quality daily and was a regular contributor to BBC Radio Scotland’s arts review shows.

Qualifications

Qualifications

2012; Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Studies (Bar) with Distinction, Institute of Professional Legal Studies

2011; Masters in Legal Science with Distinction, Queen’s University Belfast

1989; Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Film & Media Studies, University of Stirling

Awards

Eoin Higgins Memorial Prize, Top Barrister Trainee

Megaw Gift Fund Prize for Advocacy, Highest Attainment in Advocacy Courses

Williamson Trust Fund Prize, Highest Attainment in the Exit Examination

PricewaterhouseCoopers Prize, Highest Attainment in the Revenue Examination

Benchers’ Advocacy Competition, Finalist

JPB Maxwell Scholarship, First-placed Barrister Trainee

First Trust Professional Conduct Award

Experience

Cathryn’s experience encompasses the following areas of law:

Coroner urges police to further investigate death of Seamus McCollum

Seamus McCollum: Randalstown nursing home man may have been strangled

Seamus McCollum: Forensic officer ‘no idea’ what caused neck injuries

Death of disabled man is ‘shrouded in mystery’