Professsor Malachy Ó Néill completed his BA and PhD at Ulster University and was Head of Irish in St Mary’s Grammar School, Magherafelt before returning to the University in 2008 as Lecturer in Modern Irish. He was appointed as the inaugural Head of School of Irish Language and Literature in 2012 and led the subject in achieving consecutive 100% overall satisfaction in NSS. He also played a key role across the University in developing employability as a key component of the student experience at Ulster and was awarded the Students’ Union prize for excellence in Employability and Placement Support in 2016. He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2019.
Professor Ó Néill was appointed to the Irish Government's Review Board of the Irish Language Standard (revision published in 2016) and is a current member of the Irish Language and Culture Committee (Royal Irish Academy) and Fóram Forbartha Teanga (the Language Development Forum of Foras na Gaeilge). His research focuses on Irish language sources of the Ó Néill dynasty, pedagogical development in modern Irish, Irish language theatre. Professor Ó Néill was a member of the Review Board of the Official Irish Language Standard (2016).
As Provost of Magee campus since 2016, Malachy has played a pivotal role in establishing a School of Medicine in Derry (opening August 2021) and also working with city partners to deliver a c.£250M. City Deal focusing on research and innovation in areas such as personalised medicine, data analytics and robotics/automation.
A former editor of the An tUltach journal (2008-10), Malachy was founding chairperson of Gaelscoil Eoghain, Cookstown. He enjoys close ties with the Donegal Gaeltacht, spending many years in Machaire Rabhartaigh and Gaoth Dobhair facilitating courses for teenagers and adult learners of Irish. Malachy resides in his native parish of Ardboe, Co. Tyrone, with his wife Ursula and three children, Proinsias, Tomás and Sorcha.