Tuesday 20 February 2018

A tale of triumph as amputee Paul beats the odds

Laura Butler

Laura Butler

HE lost both his legs in a car accident, but businessman and Bono impersonator Paul McNeive defied the odds by becoming a helicopter pilot and a leading businessman.

After a double amputation at the age of 20 when his car burst into flames, Mr McNeive went on to lead a €50m business.

Having travelled the globe as a Bono impersonator since his retirement in 2007, the 50-year-old has now penned his remarkable life story, adding another string to his bow.

Based in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, Mr McNeive told the Irish Independent of his struggle to come to grips with life in the aftermath of his accident in December 1982.

"I suffered burns on most of my body and lost all the skin on both of my legs. I realised (everything) had changed overnight -- I was now disabled, which is a shock."


Mr McNeive spent almost a year recovering and underwent intensive rehabilitation at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, before being fitted for two prosthetic legs.

At the time, few people believed the trainee chartered surveyor could return to work. But Mr McNeive went on to become the managing director of estate agents Hamilton Osborne King, which was sold to Savills for €50m in 2006. And in 2002, he received his helicopter pilot's licence, becoming the first double amputee in the world to do so.

'Small Steps', Mr McNeive's memoir, will be launched by 'Dragons' Den' star Norah Casey at 6.30pm tonight in Dubray Bookshop on Grafton Street, in Dublin.

Irish Independent

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