Small Steps recounts a life lived large


A book by a businessman who lost his legs in a fire at the age of 20 and went on to oversee the sale of Dublin estate agents Hamilton Osborne King to Savills for €50 million at the height of the boom was unveiled by Dragon’s Den star Norah Casey in Dublin this evening.

Small Steps is the story of how Bray man Paul McNeive moved on from the loss of his legs to a career that included multi-million euro deals, becoming the world’s first double amputee to gain a helicopter pilot’s licence – and impersonating Bono.

The book details his horrific car crash, how he spent almost a year in recuperation before returning to work, very much still a trainee working at the bottom of the corporate ladder, and walking on prosthetic legs. Twenty years later, he was managing director with 250 staff.

"I constantly needed to prove that I could do just as well without my legs, as with them. So, I had to try a little harder at everything. I was deeply motivated. And when you try a little harder at the right things, you soon stand out" he said.

Mr McNeive now works as a motivational speaker, and as Bono impersonator Hugh Tuohy he has performed in Ireland, the United States and South Africa. In his spare time he flies a helicopter and is a director of the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dún Laoghaire.

The Ballpoint Press book, subtitled Everything Is Possible is a mix of personal stories and motivational anecdotes. According to the publishers it aims to unlock readers’ potential and inspire higher performance.

Commenting on the book Mr McNeive said it combines “entertaining stories and how to get ahead in business”.