Leona O’Neill

Leona O’Neill is a Lecturer in Journalism at Ulster University after spending 24 years as a news journalist in Northern Ireland, a place that could never stand accused of lacking in drama.  

During her time as a reporter she covered everything from terror attacks and murders to presidential visits and political scandals, as well as all the human stories that weave the rich tapestry of that corner of the world. She often allows her many newsroom experiences to flavour her fiction writing. She is a weekly newspaper columnist with the Irish News, a Field Producer for the likes of Vice, Al Jazeera and CBC as well as many international news outlets and is an avid campaigner for journalism safety and better mental health in newsrooms.  

She co-edited Breaking: Trauma in the Newsroom alongside the BBC’s Chris Lindsay. The book is a collection of stark, brutal and courageous stories written by some of Ireland and Britain’s most renowned media workers.  

In the book, published by Maverick House, journalists speak about how the stories they covered impacted their mental health, left some with PTSD, others anxiety and depression – and even made some walk away from their hard-fought for dream jobs after being worn down by a conveyor belt of trauma.  

She is the author of Perdition Street, a work of fiction to be published by Quill and Crow Publishing House, revolving around Atlas Bishop, an Irish Private Detective with anxiety and anger issues who lives with the ghost of his dead mother in Dublin.

The spirits of those murdered find him. He binds their souls to the humans who stole their lives so one is released to Heaven and Hell can claim its dues. It’s always a nasty business, Atlas makes sure of that.  

Perdition Street is a fast-paced, dark and witty supernatural adventure that sees a pact between Heaven and Hell explode. Atlas must save Dublin first and then the world while trying to bind lost souls, keep Heaven in business, track down his killer father, pine for his married ex-lover, escape various murderous scum, dodge demons, avoid Hell and being kicked in the face by Hitler, again.