A PRIEST was kicked to the ground by two youths and punched in the head a number of times in a terrifying assault last Thursday night.
Gardai are investigating an attack on 45-year-old Fr Manuel Karipott, Prior with the Carmelites Order, outside of the White Abbey Church in Kildare Town. The incident took place on the South Green Road at around 10.15pm.
It is believed that Fr Manual was leaving the church when he was approached by two young men who were on the opposite side of the road. One of the men kicked him in the chest knocking him over and they then continued to punch him a number of times to the head while he was on the ground.
He received swelling to his right eye and lip and was taken to Naas hospital but his injuries are not thought to be serious.
The men are described as being in their late teens/early twenties. One was 6ft2 and of thin build with a dark goatee. He had short hair and brown coloured boots. The other male is described as being around 5ft6 and of slim build with short hair.
“Enquiries are ongoing at the moment,” said a spokesman for the gardai. “We are following all lines of inquiries.”
Fr Manuel was released the following day and shortly afterwards was back saying Mass.
Fr Manuel is one of three members of the Indian Carmelite Province who came to the White Abbey in Kildare this time last year to run the friary for a three year period. Irish Carmelites who were living at the friary have transferred to Dublin and Moate so the Indian priests and brother are running the friary with the help of lay staff.
The priests were warmly received when the arrived in the town and local people were saddened to learn of the assault on Fr Manuel. Most of the congregation at the White Abbey are elderly and were shocked at the news.