Irish Priest, 65, Slain in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, NOV. 25, 2004 (Zenit.org).- An Irish-born priest in the Ngong Diocese was killed after attackers broke into his house at St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Matasia.

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Father John Hannon, 65, a native of Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare, was killed late Wednesday. The priest belonged to the Society of African Missions. A motive for the slaying was not immediately known.

In a statement, Bishop Cornelius Schilder of Ngong said: «A gang of 20 people broke into Father Hannon’s house … after tying up the watchman. Apparently the gang engaged Father Hannon in a struggle and he attempted to escape. They may have followed him from the house into the front of an unfinished Social Hall in the church compound, where his mutilated body was found in the early hours of the morning.»

The Matasia parish is about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Nairobi.

Bishop Schilder said: «There is a great insecurity in the area and people live daily with fears for their lives. Unless the government takes drastic measures to improve the security of the people we are very anxious about the safety of the members of the community.»

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