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Irish missionary murdered in Kenya robbery

Fr John Hannon, a 65 year old priest of the Society of African Missions (SMA) was killed in a church robbery on Wednesday night in the Kenyan Diocese of Ngong.

"We have received information from people this morning," a source in Ngong Diocese told the Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA) yesterday.

"I heard it was robbery," the cource told CISA, adding that the Regional Superior Fr Patrick Devine SMA had already left for the parish, along with other confreres.

Bishop Cornelius Schilder of Ngong could not be reached, as he had rushed to the scene of crime on getting the sad news. Details remain sketchy.

This incident came only a day after another priest, Fr Daniel Kariuki Munga of Nyahururu Diocese died in a road accident near Nairobi, on Tuesday evening.

Fr Hannon, who had been in Kenya for ten years, built a Parish Hall at the parish - Matasia - among the Maasai people. He had initiated a project to convert the hall into a Training Centre, having added on eight classrooms. SMA sources the slain cleric had "a long and proven record in the building of centres for training and education of young people in practical skills".

While some of the young people in his Matasia parish have had secondary education, many lacked practical skills. Fr John saw the need for training in areas like domestic economy, secretarial work, hair dressing, sewing and knitting.

The Society's website describes Fr Hannon as an "earnest helper of the less well-off" who specialised in the building of centres for non-formal education and skills training.

"Fr John saw the need for skills training of young women in areas like domestic economy, secretarial work, hair dressing, sewing and knitting as crucial for their dignity and livelihood."

KENYA: Catholic Priest is Killed in Ngong Diocese (Catholic Information Service for Africa 25/11/04)

Society of African Missions | Tragic Death of Fr John Hannon sma | Conversion of Matasia Parish Hall into a Training Centre
Statement of Most Rev Willie Walsh Bishop of Killaloe on the death of Fr John Hannon in Kenya (Catholic Communications Ireland 25/11/04)
Press Statement on the death of Rev Fr John Francis Hannon SMA (Catholic Information Service for Africa 25/11/04)
Kenya: Diocese loses Vicar General in car accident (Independent Catholic News/CISA 25/11/04)
Irish missionary killed near Nairobi (Missionary Service News Agency 25/11/04)

26 Nov 2004