Neil Donnelly was born in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, in 1946.
His plays for theatre include The Station Master (Edinburgh, 1974); Upstarts (Dublin, The Abbey Theatre, The Peacock stage, 1980); Silver Dollar Boys (Dublin,The Peacock, 1981); Flying Home (The Peacock, 1983); Chalk Farm Blues (The Peacock, 1984); Boys of Summer (Dublin, The Gaeity Theatre, 1985); Blindfold (Dublin, Team Theatre-in-Education, Dublin Theatre Festival 1986 [commissioned by Amnesty International]); Goodbye Curraroe (The Peacock Theatre, 1989); The Reel McCoy (The Peacock, 1989); The Duty Master (1995); Women Without Men (Prosperous, Co Kildare, 1995). His radio plays are Rotunda Blue (BBC Radio 3, 1983); The Loop (RTÉ 1987); and The Big Drop for BBC Radio 4. He has also written for the screen. Four of his theatre plays have been published: The Station Master (London, Corgi Books, 1982); Upstarts (Dublin, Co-Op Books, 1981); The Silver Dollar Boys (Co-Op Books 1982), and The Duty Master (USA, Syracuse University Press, 1996, as part of the anthology New Plays from the Abbey Theatre).
His poetry is collected as Tullamore Train (Dublin, Arlen House, 2011).
He has been Writer-in-Association at The Abbey Theatre 1994/95, and is a member of Aosdána. He lives in Co. Kildare.