Missionary to return to work in place where he was shot

 A Passionist priest who was shot earlier this year at the AIDS hospice he built in South Africa, has announced plans to go back and continue his work there. Father Kieran Creagh, originally from Belfast, was shot twice by robbers in February at the Leratong Hospice, in Soshanguve, near Pretoria. He said doctors told him he had made a miraculous recovery from his gunshot wounds. Surgeons had to remove one of the bullets from his lung following the shooting. "I had an MRI scan a couple of weeks ago and then blood tests the other day and the doctors are very happy, they say it's miraculous the recovery I've made. I'm still not 100% yet and I probably won't be for another while," he said. "But generally I'm moving in the right direction. " Fr Keiran said he is going to back to South Africa nect month. He said: :"I have plans going to the council to build an Aids clinic that would help 3,000 people and build a creche for the children, who have nothing. If I hadn't started all that, I may have felt it was time to leave Africa. But because I had started those I'd like to see them completed." Fr Keiran said the hospice had been running for the last six months without him, although he had been in contact with the local people running it every second day. He said his return would be partly to finalise the handing over of control to them. "I don't really intend to live out my days in Africa - I think especially South Africa, it's a place that has to be sorted out by South Africans," he said. Two people are currently in jail in connection with the shooting while two others - including the alleged gang leader - are currently in custody. Fr Creagh said he would like to meet with his attackers if the police advised him it was safe to do so. The priest admitted he was returning to South Africa with a certain amount of trepidation. "One of my brothers says he'll fly back with me in case I take the collywobbles and want to come home," he said. Fr Keiran has worked in South Africa for several. years. In 2004, he volunteered to be the first person to be injected with a trial vaccine for the HIV virus. He was named at the International Person of the Year in 2004 for his work in fighting HIV/AIDS in South Africa. See also: ICN 5 March 2007 Irish missionary priest shot in Africa www.indcatholicnews.com/passion328.html

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