9:05am Tuesday 22nd July 2003
By Linda Piper
THE man who nearly brought the British Grand Prix at Silverstone to a disastrous end by running onto the racetrack during the race, is a former Bexley priest.
Father Neil Horan, now 56, came to St John Fisher Church in Thanet Road, Bexley Village in 1973, after being ordained a Catholic priest in Ireland, the same year. He stayed there until 1975.
Although still technically a priest, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese said the archbishop’s permission for Father Horan to perform the functions of a priest, such as preaching, saying mass and administering the other sacraments of the Church, was formally withdrawn in writing in April last year.
“He holds no appointments in the archdiocese,” he added.
Father Horan was arrested by police for aggravated trespass after performing what he called his “peace dance” on the track, dodging the F1 cars hurtling towards him. He was also carrying placards about the Bible.
Born in Ireland in 1947, Father Horan says he has now devoted his life to making the Bible, and especially its prophecies, better known.
He has written two books on the subject and written to politicians including Tony Blair and Saddam Hussein about his obsession. He has also performed his peace dance at several racecourses.
Les Broad from Deunant Books where Father Horan sells his books on the internet said: “I am shocked. I thought I knew him but I never dreamt in a million years he would do something like this.
“I have always found him perfectly rational and highly intelligent. I thought his peace dancing was well intentioned but eccentric.
“When I watched the Grand Prix, I got prickles on the back of my neck because I thought I recognised him. There is no question he would have been killed if a car had hit him. The whole thing is really bizarre.” l Do you remember Father Horan? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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