'They cut my finger, I was screaming and they didn’t like it so they beat me' - Indian priest on brutal attack
An Indian priest who was viciously attacked by thugs after arriving in Ireland only two weeks earlier has spoken about his ordeal.
Father Dominic Savio, from the Tamil region of India, has been left shocked by the attack which occurred last Saturday at the parish house where he was staying near Portlaoise.
Two thugs broke in and attacked Fr Savio, dragging him upstairs and beating him while they ransacked the house.
“The two men were armed with knives - they pushed me in and held me with the knives,” the priest told the The Irish Sun.
”They threw some things around and disconnected the landline and took the mobile. I was totally helpless and the incident lasted for 20 minutes.
“They cut my finger, I was screaming and they didn’t like it so they beat me,” he said.
The priest was lucky to escape the attack with only cuts to his hands and neck as well as bruising. He still managed to celebrate 10am Mass the following day at Ratheniska parish.
Despite the vicious attack, Fr Savio said he would not leave Ireland:
“I will not leave Ireland - it is just a part of life. People are very supportive. This one incident will not prevent me coming here to Ireland again,” he said to The Sun.
The burglars made off with €300 in cash, two laptops, a mobile phone as well as the keys to the house.
Monsignor John Byrne described the incident as ‘very embarrassing’ but commended the Irish community for providing support to Fr Savio:
"He has been greatly moved by the outpouring of support and I know he is hoping to continue his work here. It is a very distressing thing to happen," he said
Fr Savio is currently pursuing his studies in both Rome and Ireland.
He arrived in Portlaoise earlier this month to provide clerical cover for two local priests, Fr George Augustine and Fr Paddy Byrne, who are away with the annual parish pilgrimage to Lourdes.