An Irish missionary nun who was injured in an assault in the Philippines has been hospitalized in the city of Ozamiz and will require surgery in Manila.
Sr Kathleen Melia (70), from Co Leitrim, has worked in the Philippines for over 30 years.
Sr Kathleen has been living in Subaneen Ministry of Midsalip since 1983. She was serving at the San Jose Parish Church in the Zamboanga region when the attack took place.
Local police director Sofronio Ecaldre said Sr Kathleen was about to close the window of the convent at 9.30pm on Wednesday when she was attacked. Mr Ecaldre said the nun told police that the man, who was wearing a mask, tried to cover her mouth and punched her in the face and chest. She sustained multiple injuries and fell to the ground unconscious.
Sr Ann Gray, who knows Sr Kathleen from her work with the Sisters of St Columban in Wicklow, said her colleagues were "shocked and very concerned". "She has been working in that area for over 30 years with the indigenous populations and she was very close to the people there," she said.
However Sr Ann is confident that Sr Kathleen will be able to bounce back from the incident. "She will make a recovery as she is in very good hands over there with the help of other sisters. She is very well looked after," she said.