Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

The Padre

The True Story of the Irish Priest who armed the IRA with Gaddafi’s Money

Jennifer O'Leary



In stock
Ready to ship


Merrion Press
02 October 2023
For almost two decades, Father Patrick Ryan evaded intelligence agencies across Europe and was, for a time, one of the most wanted men in Britain.

In The Padre, award-winning investigative journalist Jennifer O’Leary exposes the exploits of this notorious former Irish priest and active IRA supporter. Revealing sensational details divulged to her during exclusive secret meetings with Ryan, the book 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 a trusted link between the regime of Muammar Gaddafi and the IRA, to his involvement in improving IRA explosive devices, which made possible the almost successful assassination attempt on Margaret Thatcher and her Cabinet in Brighton.

The Padre tells the truly remarkable story of this man of the cloth, who, decades on, is still unrepentant about his ruthless zealotry in pursuit of money, weapons and assistance for the IRA’s violence. Indeed, his one regret is that he wasn’t even more effective.
Imprint:   Merrion Press
Country of Publication:   Ireland
Dimensions:   Height: 226mm,  Width: 135mm, 
ISBN:   9781785374616
ISBN 10:   1785374613
Pages:   272
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Prologue Thorn in her side The hand that rocks the cradle Mission to Africa 1969: The year that changes everything The Sculptor and the Colonel The Claudia Our man in Tripoli The Swiss Timers The Sleepers Hyde Park Brighton The Belgian Connection Extradition Aftermath

Jennifer is a writer and award-winning investigative journalist currently based in Belfast. Her most recent work, Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History, a seven-part BBC series, was broadcast in 2019. Jennifer studied science and obtained a master’s degree in Health Informatics at Trinity College Dublin before moving into journalism. As a freelance journalist, she wrote feature articles for a number of publications including the Sunday Business Post and the Irish Examiner. She began working for the BBC as a broadcast journalist in 2011 and later moved to Belfast to work as an investigative reporter for the BBC NI current affairs programme, Spotlight. 

Reviews for The Padre: The True Story of the Irish Priest who armed the IRA with Gaddafi’s Money

'The Padre is a superb piece of investigative journalism, formidably researched and efficiently told.' -- Andrew Lynch * Sunday Business Post *

See Also