Death of captured Wexford priest Fr. Mal Sinnott

FR. MICHAEL 'Mal' SINNOTT

The death has occurred of Fr Michael ‘Mal’ Sinnott, (90), a native of Barntown, who as an elderly missionary was abducted in the Pagadian city of Mindanao in 2009 and was held in captivity for a month.

Foreign Affairs Minister at the time, now Fianna Fail Party Leader, Michael Martin said no ransom had been paid for the release of the priest, who is a member of the Missionaries of St Columban. “I am personally delighted and relieved to relay the news that Fr Michael Sinnott has been freed by his captives and handed over to the Philippine authorities,” said Minister Martin.

Fr Sinnott was seized by six gunmen from his gated compound in Pagadian City, on the southern island of Mindanao. The raiders reportedly duped staff at Columban House, home to 47 missionaries, to gain entry and captured the priest as he was strolling around the gardens.

Fr Sinnott’s capture and concerns for his welfare was world news and cast him into the public spotlight. After his release he spent some time at the Columbian House in Navan and with his brother-in-law, Aidan Conway, in Clonard, Wexford town.

Born in December 1929, Michael Sinnott ‘affectionately known as Mal to his family and friends’ was son of T.D. Sinnott, (1893-1965) who was the first Wexford County Manager, and Mary Kate Sinnott (nee Fortune).

He studied in Rome and was destined to become a missionary with the Columban Fathers based in Navan. He served in the Philippines from 1957 until 1966 when he was assigned to the theology staff at Dalgan Park, Navan, however, he returned to the Philippines in 1976 and founded the Hongap Kabataan Community Rehabilitation Programme for Children. He was a priest for 65 years.

FUNERAL NOTICE; The death has occurred of Fr. Michael (Mal) Sinnott, (Columban Fathers), St. Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan and late of Clonard, Co. Wexford; Rome and Philippines missions. 23rd November 2019; suddenly in the loving care of the staff of Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan and St. Columban’s Retirement Home, Navan. Fr. Michael predeceased by his parents Thomas David (T.D.) and Mary Kate; sisters Maureen Lacy, Eileen Conway, Eithne Brown and Sr. Josephine; brothers Eoin and Tommy; nieces Eithne and Delma; nephew Dermot and grandniece Deirdre. Very deeply regretted by his sisters Aine Kenny and Kay O’Neill; sister-in-law Judy; brother-in-law Aiden; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. May Fr. Michael Rest in Peace Reposing at St. Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan, on Tuesday from 4.30 pm followed by Evening Prayer at 7.30 pm. Funeral Mass on Wednesday morning at 11 am, followed by burial in the Community Cemetery. Ar dheis De go raibh anam uasal”

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