My name is Frances Neary O'Neill and my grandfather, Thomas Neary, was the brother of Mary Neary Jordan, Catherine Neary, Michael Neary, Ellen Neary Grady, John Neary, Honor Neary, Celia Nary (different census will have different spelling of Neary, depending on how it's pronounced), Julia Narree (from baptismal records).
My father was Stephen Neary, born 1897 in Meelickbeg, son of Thomas Neary. His mother was Catherine Higgins Neary from Woodstock.
My great grandfather was Stephen Neary, born circa 1808.He married Ellen Costello.
James might have been a descendant of a brother of Stephen Neary, my great grandfather.
I can tell you from my research that Michael Neary was baptized on October 23, 1859 (sponsors: Patrick Mullen and Judith Costello).
Most likely the same tribe and if the Michael Neary you are investigating is my great uncle, then your friend and I are second cousins (or 'removed' -- depends on the ages.