Book sheds light on truth behind ex-priest’s stunts

FORMER priest Neil Horan, 63, who has earned international notoriety for his publicity stunts, had caused upset to his family but he had also done many good things, his brother said at the weekend.

Businessman Dan Horan appealed to people not to judge his brother on “three minutes of madness in his life.”

Speaking in Killarney at the launch of a book on Neil’s colourful life, Mr Horan said he had always been very close to him and loved him to bits.

“We have been very upset by the things he has done, but he should also be remembered for the good he has done as a priest,” he said.

It would very unfair to judge him on acts, such as his attempt to disrupt the British Grand Prix, at Silverstone, and his rugby tackle on a Brazilian athlete at the 2004 Olympics, in Athens, Mr Horan added.

He said his brother could now be judged in a true and fair way in the book, Dancing Priest, by Kerry-based journalist Aidan O’Connor.

Neil Horan, one of a family of 14 from Scartaglin, Co Kerry, returned home for the first time in 14 years for the launch, wearing his trademark saffron kilt and green Celtic regalia.

Speaking at the launch, he again apologised about being incorrect in his previous forecast that the end of the world was at hand, but said he was convinced more than ever about the second coming of Christ.

The Christian religion was not about dates, he said, and was much bigger than that. He had got a copy of the book the previous day and found it “compelling and thrilling,” describing it as a factual and accurate story of his life.

“It was like reading science fiction — I couldn’t put it down,” said Mr Horan who co-operated in the research for the book.

He also danced at the launch to the musical accompaniment of well-known accordionist Liam O’Connor at the East Avenue Hotel, in Killarney.

Afterwards, he mingled with some of his old friends and neighbours, posed for photographs and signed copies of the book.

Aidan O’Connor said he did not aim to exonerate, or condemn, Horan, but set out to trace the extraordinary story of a man from rural Kerry to “worldwide fame, or infamy.”


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