Tuesday 12 November 2019

Story of priest who built Knock Airport hits big screen

Ken Sweeney

IT was always a movie waiting to happen.

The stranger-than-fiction story of how an extra-ordinary priest defied his critics to build an airport on a "foggy boggy hill".

Yet within months of his dream airport at Knock opening in 1986, the same cleric had passed away, it is said, worn out by his efforts.

But after a best-selling book and a stage musical, the story of Monsignor James Horan has been turned into a movie.

This week the film hit the big screen in Ballina and it brought the house down. "We had a private screening for the cast and crew and we got a terrific reaction," co-writer Terry Reilly told the Irish Independent.

Filmed on location in Mayo and Sligo during February and March, 'On a Wing and a Prayer' stars local jeweller Ollie Rouse (55) as Monsignor Horan, with cameos from actors playing characters as diverse as Padraig Flynn, the late Charlie Haughey and the Virgin Mary.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, has been invited to the launch of the DVD on May 5 in the Royal Theatre in Castlebar, which also marks the 100th anniversary of Monsignor Horan's birth.

All proceeds from the DVD will go toward Mayo Roscommon Hospice.

Irish Independent

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