Jeremiah O'Neill (1802-1861), a Catholic priest, was born in Bansha, Ireland in 1802. He died at Trepassey on 6 July 1861. His first burial site was beneath the floor of the old church in Trepassey, but later, when a new church was built his body was interred in the priests' plot in the parish cemetery.
Relatively little is documented about his early life but it is known that he entered St. John's College, Waterford, as a teenager. O'Neill completed his studies for the priesthood in Paris, France, in the 1800's, and was imprisoned as an ecclesiastic by the Revolutionary Authorities who had taken over control of the country. He suffered for the Faith during the worst times of tumult in France. O'Neill was ordained a priest circa 1828. He was one of a group of four (along with John Cullen, James Gleeson and Matthew Scanlan) who responded to a plea by Bishop Michael Anthony Fleming, St. John's, for volunteers for the Newfoundland mission. The four were ordained together in Holy Trinity Cathedral, Waterford, by Bishop Foran in 1842 and sailed almost directly for St. John's.
O'Neill came to work in the Vicariate of Newfoundland at the invitation of Thomas Scallan, Vicar Apostolic. He was appointed the first parish priest of Holy Redeemer Parish, Trepassey in 1843, where he laboured for eighteen years.