[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 20:45 GMT
Sport disrupting priest defrocked
Neil Horan performs his jig outside court
Horan performed a jig outside the Old Bailey after being cleared of indecency
A Roman Catholic priest known for his disrupting stunts at international sporting events has been defrocked.

Neil Horan, 57, from Nunhead, south London, will no longer be able to call himself Father after he was removed from the priesthood.

He was told of the decision at a meeting with the Archbishop of Southwark on Thursday.

He disrupted the men's marathon at the Athens Olympics and ran onto the track at the Silverstone Grand Prix in 2003.

Mr Horan, who was dressed in his now customary brown kilt, Irish green waistcoat and green beret said he was stunned by the news.

I now cannot preach, I cannot give out communion - I am little more than a pagan
Neil Horan

"I completely reject this decision," he said. "I appeal to the much higher court of heaven and the court of Jesus Christ.

"I now cannot preach, I cannot give out communion - I am little more than a pagan."

Earlier Mr Horan arrived at the Archbishop's House armed with press releases and a mini tape recorder.

Before going into the meeting he performed an Irish jig and preached the importance of the bible.

We will continue to have a concern for Neil's wellbeing
Monsignor Richard Moth, Vicar General of the Southwark diocese

After running on to the track at Silverstone he was jailed for two months.

He was cleared last October of charges of indecency against a seven-year-old girl in 1991.

Mr Horan has not worked in a church for the last 10 years, saying he was on sabbatical and citing health reasons including depression.

Monsignor Richard Moth, Vicar General of the Southwark diocese, said: "We will continue to have a concern for Neil's wellbeing."




SEE ALSO:


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific