‘They Shot Me At My Door And Then Shot Me Again As I Ran’
The north Belfast priest who was seriously injured during an apparent armed robbery in South Africa has given his first media interview since he was shot.
Fr Kieran Creagh (44), who is originally from the Crumlin Road, told the BBC of the moment he came face-to-face with a gang of armed men at the Aids hospice he founded almost four years ago in a deprived suburb of Pretoria.
The men had reportedly handcuffed a security guard before confronting Fr Creagh at the door of his flat at the hospice. “I was saying, ‘Don’t point that gun at me. What are you doing here? This is a hospice, people are dying here, they don’t need this rubbish – go on home’,” Fr Creagh said.
“They shot me outside my door first and then, as I was running along the courtyard, they shot me again.” Fr Creagh also told the Spotlight programme, to be broadcast tomorrow, that DUP leader Ian Paisley was among those who sent messages of support.
Others who have expressed their concern for Fr Creagh include the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, and the Mayor of Pretoria, Gwen Ramokgopa.
Since the incident over two weeks ago, Fr Creagh has made what his family describe as “a remarkable recovery”. He had been shot twice, once in the arm and once in the lung, where a bullet had lodged. He underwent surgery last weekend to have the bullet removed.
Passionist Order member Fr Creagh set up Leratong Hospice in the black suburb of Atteridgeville, near Pretoria, after witnessing the devastation caused by Aids among the poor in South Africa.