Northern Ireland news

Well known priest details the crazy side of life in new book

"Crazy Chronicles of a Parish life" will be launched at Derry's Veritas shop tonight, Thursday.
Seamus McKinney

A FORMER Bogside priest has given an account of his arrest after leaving a talent show in a new book.

Fr Michael Collins details some of his experiences in Crazy Chronicles of a Parish Life which was launched last night.

He spent 50 years working as a priest, including 18 years in the Long Tower parish in Derry's Bogside.

A contemporary of the late Bishop Edward Daly, Fr Collins details the only time he was arrested. Returning from a talent competition in Faughanvale with his housekeeper and four young parishioners, he was stopped by police and interrogated near Park village.

"A police officer told me he was sure there was no such person as me living in the locality where I lived and I was subsequently arrested. But we eventually sorted it out," Fr Collins said.

Irish News columnist, Denis Bradley, who also served as a priest in the Bogside, is a friend of Fr Collins. Mr Bradley, who was guest speaker at the book launch, said his friend was a “born chronicler.”

“He knows that spirituality and theology have their essence in the bits and pieces of everyday life. While Collins' observations always seem accurate and telling, they are never cruel,” Mr Bradley said.

Illustrated by Joe Connolly , Crazy Chronicles of a Parish Life is published by Columba Press.

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