A DEFROCKED priest, noted for his outrageous publicity stunts, is expected to return home this weekend for the first time in many years — for the launch of his biography.
Neil Horan, 63, captured the attention of the world’s media for his near-fatal attempt to disrupt the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and, again, during his notorious tackle on a Brazilian marathon runner at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
He also forecast the end of the world and has since apologised for getting that “hopelessly wrong’.
In a new book, Kerry-based journalist Aidan O’Connor charts the story of Horan from his humble beginnings on a farm near Scartaglin, Co Kerry.
One of a family of 14, Horan has said he found it difficult to mix with other children during his school days.
The author yesterday described Horan as a “mass of contradictions” and a very shy and unassuming man.
“He finds small talk very difficult but is very much at home when talking about theology, the Middle East or world politics. He’s a scholar and a keen student of the bible,” said O’Connor.
O’Connor explained that Horan carries out his publicity stunts in order to “draw attention to his message and get publicity for the bible, believing the end justifies the means.
“But this hasn’t worked and the messenger has become more famous than the message.”
Horan co-operated with research on the book. O’Connor said he did not aim to exonerate or condemn Horan but set out to trace his extraordinary story.
Horan’s sanity has often been questioned and a chapter in the book deals with reports from a number of psychiatrists.
Dancing Priest will be launched tomorrow night in Killarney.
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