O’Neill was born in Montreal QC, in 1955. Admitted to the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1989, he completed a double major program in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking graduating with Honors in 1993. He graduated in 1994 with a BFA in Studio Art from NSCAD University.
First teaching appointment in 1995 at NSCAD was as faculty replacement in printmaking. Accepted to the NSCAD MFA program in 1997, graduating with his terminal degree in 1999 and continued teaching Lithography, Monotype and Relief printmaking at all levels, and topic based drawing classes at various undergraduate levels, and Intermediate Studio Drawing as Regular Part Time Faculty since 1995. He has received national and provincial arts grant awards, also receiving an established artist designation from Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council in 2011. His work is represented in national and provincial art banks, and in some university art galleries respectively.
His core artistic practice occurs in lithography and he maintains a cross-disciplinary studio practice that centers on drawing, painting, writing, construction/installation and collage. Collage is his primary method for gathering notation for forwarding concept development for lithography and other media, harvesting visual material from the public domain for his work.