Head and shoulders photo of Dr Eamonn O'Neal wearing a black suit and tie

Diocesan trustee appointed next High Sheriff of Greater Manchester

Thursday 14th March 2024

We’re delighted to announce that one of our diocesan 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 yesterday (13 March) 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 Eamonn has now been appointed by two different monarchs.

He will be installed as High Sheriff at Wardley Hall in April, succeeding Mary Elizabeth Walker whose term of office ends at that point. Mary is a member of the Cathedral Choir and appointed Cathedral Dean Canon Michael Jones to be her chaplain while in office. Eamonn will also appoint some of our own clergy to be his chaplain.

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.”

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. The Diocese of Salford, is at the forefront of propagating the Faith, educating our children and looking after the most vulnerable in our society, those experiencing poverty, disadvantage, discrimination and homelessness. There are daily examples how the clergy and lay members of the diocese 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 and upon the foundation of faith.”

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