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Mary Devenport O'Neill was born in Loughrea County Galway on the 3rd of August 1879. Her father John was a sub-constable in the local Royal Irish Constabulary.
As a young girl Mary was educated in the Dominican Convent on Dublin's Eccles Street. When she was 19 years old she enrolled in the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art where she spent the next four years training as an art teacher. Though she excelled in her training as a painter, she would gain her noteriety as a poet.
On the 19th of June 1908, Mary married writer and fellow Galway native Joseph O'Neill. The pair made a home for themselves in Dublin's Kenilworth Square. She became a prominent figure in a number of Dublin salons, even establishing her own called Thursdays at Home. She became good friends with a number of important Irish poets and was particularly close to William Butler Yeats.
In 1929 Mary published a book of poetry entitles Prometheus and Other Poems. The work has long been out of print and much of her contribution to Irish literature has been somewhat forgotten. She was a long time contributor to a number of literary and news publications. Her poetry often described her childhood in Galway, with one poem titled Galway giving a wonderful description of life in the windswept city by the sea.
Mary died in 1967. In her later life she had suffered from poor health and often travelled with her husband to France and Switzerland for treatment.