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MEURTRE D'UN MISSIONNAIRE IRLANDAIS
Jeremiah Roche, missionnaire des Kiltegan Fathers, membres de la Société de Saint Patrick, a été tué, probablement au cours d'un cambriolage. Le corps du missionnaire, originaire d'Athea, en Irlande, a été retrouvé à son domicile à Kericho, dans le Sud-ouest du pays.
Établi au Kenya depuis 1968, père Jeremiah (68 ans) vivait seul et uvrait depuis le début de sa mission en faveur des habitants les plus pauvres et nécessiteux. L'alarme a été donnée par son assistant et les premières enquêtes indiquent que l'agression aurait eu lieu dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi. Tout en confirmant les faits, ses confrères ont précisé que le missionnaire travaillait à la construction d'une nouvelle église.
Le ministre irlandais des Affaires étrangères, Michael Martin, s'est dit "affligé" par la mort du religieux, précisant avoir été informé par les autorités kenyanes compétentes que des enquêtes étaient en cours pour élucider l'affaire et retrouver les responsables. (GB/CN)
AFRICA/KENYA - Irish missionary killed in Kenya; an active promoter of several development projects who had recently completed the construction of a new church
Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "The death of Father Jeremiah Roche has aroused strong emotions in his community and in his homeland, Ireland, where the newspapers have given prominence to his killing," Fr. Cooney, of the General Curia House of the Society of St. Patrick for Foreign Missions, tells Fides. Fr. Jeremiah Roche was murdered on the night between 10 and 11 of December by some strangers who entered his home in Kericho, 250 kilometers from Nairobi.
The body of the missionary was discovered by some parishioners who were surprised by the fact that Fr. Roche had not come to celebrate the 6am Mass. The missionary was found lying in his bed with his hands tied and with machete wounds to the head.
Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen has asked Kenyan authorities to perform a thorough investigation into Fr. Roche's death. Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said he had spoken to Fr Roches family yesterday morning to convey his sympathies and offer assistance. His untimely death is yet another terrible reminder of the threats faced daily by our missionaries and aid workers all over the world, Mr. Martin added. President Mary McAleese also offered her sympathies. Our thoughts and prayers are especially with the Roche family as they face this sad loss and tragic news, she said.
Fr. Roche had served in Kenya since 1968 and had recently completed a new church. Fr. Roche had initiated various development projects, thanks to his incessant fund-raising, which was supported by his family. When he went to visit her 10 brothers and sisters, in addition to his nieces and nephews,who live both in Ireland and the United States, Fr. Roche did not return empty handed, Fr. Cooney tells Fides. Probably some local youths, as the local police commander - a good friend of Fr Roche, too who thought the missionary had some kind of treasure and entered the house for a robbery that had a tragic end." (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/12/2009)