Friday, June 8, 2007

Do people have the right to stop sporting events?

The case of Cornelius "Neil" Horan raises interesting questions. Known sometimes as "The Dancing Priest" or "Grand Prix Priest" (although he has been defrocked), I watched with horror as he interrupted the 2003 Grand Prix at Silverstone. More infamously, he interrupted Vanderlei de Lima as he led the Olympic marathon in 2004.

One is reminded of the sufragette
Emily Wilding Davison, who threw herself in front of the King's horse at the 1913 Derby, and was killed. I think most people would agree that was a protest which was, in retrospect, noble and courageous.

So why do I find it a little more difficult to tolerate Mr Horan, who is contesting a sports event ban at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court? He does, after all, have a religious point which he seems to be trying to make. His Grand Prix placard read "Read the Bible" and his marathon placard mentioned the "Second Coming".

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