For almost two decades, Father Patrick Ryan evaded intelligence agencies across Europe. The subject of two unsuccessful extradition requests, he was, for a time, one of the most wanted men in Britain.
In The Padre, award-winning investigative journalist Jennifer O’Leary exposes the paramilitary exploits of the notorious former Irish priest and active IRA supporter – revealing sensational details unknown until now. Drawing on highly sensitive information, divulged by Ryan during exclusive secret meetings with the author, The Padre lifts the lid on the true extent of the priest’s involvement with the IRA and its campaign of terror across Europe, Britain and Ireland – from being the link between the IRA and the Gaddafi regime, to Ryan’s connection to the failed assassination attempt on Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet. Decades on, Patrick Ryan is unrepentant: ‘If I had ever met Mrs Thatcher, my parting shot would have been, I wish you well mam, but I’m sorry we missed you at Brighton.’
In an exclusive interview with the author, Ryan is asked whether he has any regrets. His chilling response: ‘only that I wasn’t even more effective … but we didn’t do too badly’.
The Padre tells the truly remarkably story of this man of the cloth, and his lifelong struggle with what he, in his heart, believes to be right.