Alan O’Neill, best remembered for playing Hugh in “Sons of Anarchy,” has been found dead at the age of 47. TMZ was the first report that O’Neill was found dead by his girlfriend inside of her apartment on June 6. The news site says that O’Neill was known for his drug and alcohol problems as well as being a heavy smoker. O’Neill played the role of Hugh in season six and season seven of Sons of Anarchy.
Variety reports that O’Neill’s body was found in the hallway of his Los Angeles apartment by his girlfriend. His agent, Annette Walsh, told the magazine, “I’ll personally miss knowing Alan isn’t sharing the planet with us any longer, despite the miles between L.A. and Dublin, Alan was only ever a phone call away.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. His Next Movie Role Was in a Charles Manson-Based Horror Movie
According to his IMDb page, O’Neill is also remembered for his roles in Irish soap opera, Fair City, where he played Keith McGrath from 2008 until 2012, and the TV movie Rebel Heart. A casting profile for O’Neill says that he moved from Ireland to Los Angeles in 2014. In 2016, O’Neill appeared in the movie Urge with Pierce Brosnan. That profile says that he was accomplished in stage combat acting and was an accomplished equestrian. He was due to appear in the upcoming horror movie, Charlie Lives: The Family’s Return, a film about the remaining members of the Manson family terrorizing a group of teenagers
2. In 2007, O’Neill Was Accused of Hosting a Party Where a Model Died of a Drug Overdose
O’Neill was at the center of a controversy in Ireland in December 2007 when model Katy French mysteriously died at a home in the town of Ashbourne, County Meath. The Irish Independent reported that there were rumors that French had been at O’Neill’s home as he lived in the town and was known to be friendly with the model after they had appeared on a reality TV show together.
O’Neill told the newspaper that the rumors were untrue saying, “I haven’t seen Katy since we both took part in making a charity recording two weeks ago connected with the People in Need charity. The first I heard about what happened was when I heard it on the radio. I’m just hoping that everything will be okay and that she’ll get back to full health… It is shocking what has happened. I just heard she was in intensive care.” French died a day after that article was published after suffering brain damage from a drug overdose.
The Meath Chronicle reported in 2010 that O’Neill was living in Ashbourne with his wife, Yvonne Tobin, who hailed from the village of Skyrne in the county.
3. O’Neill’s Cousin Was Killed by a Bear in Canada in 2007
In 2014, O’Neill’s cousin, Lorna Weafer was killed by a bear in Canada. Weafer had been working in an oilfield at the time, reports the Irish Independent. Weafer was attacked as she left a portable washroom by the animal. A family member told the Independent that her loved ones were “numb” over the incident. At the time O’Neill tweeted, “Heartbreaking and devastating news for all my family at the very tragic passing of my beautiful vivacious cousin in Canada.” On his Twitter page bio, O’Neill writes that he was an “Actor, Beatles and Stones fan. Irish and proud of it.” His page has not been active since January 2018 when O’Neill retweeted a message about the symptoms of depression:
O’Neill wrote on Twitter that his older brother, Tom O’Neill, is a police officer in Ireland.
4. O’Neill Played a Member of the IRA on Sons of Anarchy
Alan O’Neill played the role of True IRA member Hugh in Sons of Anarchy. The show’s wiki page it says that O’Neill’s character was kicked out of the IRA for selling guns without the group’s permission. His character last appeared in the episode, “Papa’s Goods,” the finale of season seven.
5. This Is Not the First Tragedy to Hit the Cast of Sons of Anarchy
The Sons of Anarchy cast was last rocked by a death in 2012 when castmate Johnny Lewis was killed after he murdered his landlady in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles. Lewis is thought to have been under the influence of a synthetic drug when he killed Catherine Davis and then himself. The show’s creator, Kurt Sutter, said at the time that Lewis had “lost his way in life” and he was “deeply sorry that [Davis] had to be thrown into [Lewis’] destructive path.”