Irish priest freed from month long captivity in the Philippines

Friday, November 13, 2009

Irish priest Father Michael Sinnott has been freed by the gunmen who abducted him one month ago. The 79-year-old was taken hostage from his mission office in the Philippines on the 11th of October. The Irish government released a statement saying they had not paid a ransom. Authorities believe that Father Sinnott was being held by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Father Sinnott was based in Pagadian at the time of his abduction but was originally from County Wexford, Ireland. Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin released a statement saying Father Sinnott’s release was due to diplomatic efforts between the Irish and Filipino governments.

Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen expressed his delight at the release of Father Sinnott. There had been reports that a £1.2 million ransom was being demanded by the hostage takers.

Father Sinnott released a statement after his release saying that he was “treated very well” by his hostage takers and that he would continue with his missionary work.