Funeral of Irish missionary Fr Michael Sinnott takes place

Priest spent month in captivity after being kidnapped in the Philippines in 2009

Then Philippines president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with released Irish priest Fr Michael Sinnott in 2009. File photograph: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

Then Philippines president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with released Irish priest Fr Michael Sinnott in 2009. File photograph: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

 

The funeral has taken place of Fr Michael Sinnott, the Irish missionary kidnapped by extremists in the Philippines a decade ago.

Fr Sinnnott died in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, Co Meath, on Saturday.

He was snatched from his compound on October 11th, 2009, by six gunmen who barged into the Columban House in Pagadian City in the Zamboanga del Sur province, which is 890km south of Manila. He was released after 31 days.

The Department of Foreign Affairs stressed at the time that no ransom had been paid to secure the release of the Columban missionary, who is a native of Barntown, Co Wexford.

Fr Sinnott spent much of his 58 years as a missionary in Pagadian City, where he also ran a school for children with hearing disabilities. Speaking after his release by the kidnappers, he said he had no regrets.

“I was delighted when I got my appointment to the Philippines and I’ve never been sorry ever since,” he said.

“For the long time that I’ve been here, it’s been a privilege for me to serve the people of the Philippines and I learned a lot from them – more than I gave – especially from the ordinary people, for their goodness and their faith.”

Fr Sinnott retired to Ireland in 2012.

His funeral Mass took place on Wednesday, after which his remains were buried in the Community Cemetery in Dalgan Park, Navan.