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Philippines: priest returns to work in city where he was kidnapped

Father Michael Sinnott

Father Michael Sinnott

Columban Father Michael Sinnott, 79, who was kidnapped and held captive for two months by Moro rebels last October, has returned to work this week. Fr Michael immediately went to visit children staying at the home he founded in Pagadian City, and says he has promised  to continue working with them as long as he can.

Fr Michael was snatched by six gunmen from the mission' compound in Pagadian on 11 October.  After his kidnapping, prayer vigils and Masses were held around the world  and parishioners in the Phillippines held street processions calling for his release.

After he was freed,  on 12 November, Fr Michael took a two-month holiday with his family in Ireland.

He told reporters on his return: "It’s very nice to be back and I am looking forward to going back to my work in Pagadian.”

Fr Sinnott was the third Irish missionary to be kidnapped in Mindanao since 1997. Father Des Hartford was held by Moro rebels for 12 days, and in 2001, Father Rufus Hally, a missionary from Waterford, was shot dead during an attempted abduction in Mindanao.