Caritas trustee appointed High Sheriff of Greater Manchester

Date Published: 13 Mar 2024
Head and shoulders photo of Eamonn O'Neal smiling at camera

We’re really excited to announce that one of our trustees has been chosen by King Charles as the next High Sheriff of Greater Manchester.

The appointment of Eamonn O’Neal was formally announced by Buckingham Palace today and he will take up his ceremonial role next month.

In an unusual move, the father-of-three, from Sale, will be installed as High Sheriff for a second time, having previously held the position in 2020. This is unique in the history of Greater Manchester, as he has now been appointed by two different monarchs.

He will be installed as High Sheriff at Wardley Hall, Salford, in April, succeeding Mary Elizabeth Walker whose term of office ends at that point.

In addition to being one of our trustees, Eamonn, who will hold office for 12 months, has been a prominent broadcaster and journalist in the North West, having been head of regional programmes at Granada Television, managing editor of the Manchester Evening News and a presenter with BBC Radio Manchester.

He said: “It’s a huge honour and quite humbling to be chosen as High Sheriff of Greater Manchester again. I’m grateful to have the chance to connect and engage with the charitable, voluntary, faith, ethnic, cultural and business communities across the county.”

Eamonn was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree by the University of Bolton in 2015 in recognition of his ‘outstanding contribution to the media and charity.’

The Office of High Sheriff is the oldest secular title in British history and among the most ancient in the world, dating back more than 1,300 years.

At that time the Sheriff represented the monarch, collected taxes, raised armies and was the rule of law across the county.

Eamonn said: “I won’t be collecting taxes, or raising an army, but as High Sheriff I’ll be proud to represent the King as the ceremonial head of the judiciary in the county.

“I also regard this Royal appointment as recognition of the importance of meaningful connection with the communities. Caritas Salford, is at the forefront of working alongside the most vulnerable in our society, those experiencing poverty, disadvantage, discrimination and homelessness. This amazing charity is a perfect example of how a determined team can make a real difference to people’s lives. I hope that my year as High Sheriff will help focus attention on the needs of those who need our help the most and help them to live their lives with dignity.”

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