Kisumu court frees Irish priest accused of illegal preaching

Thursday August 15 2019

Irish priest Rory Bracken when he appeared in a Kisumu court on March 7,2019. He has now been acquitted after the prosecution failed to prove that he was using a holiday visa to work as a preacher. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


A 59-year-old Irish priest who was charged with engaging in pastoral activities in Kenyan using a holiday visa has been acquitted by a Kisumu court after the prosecution failed to prove him guilty.

Kisumu High Court Resident Magistrate Linah Akoth said the prosecution failed to provide evidence to show that Mr Rory Bracken had breached the terms of his visa by being working as a preacher.

In her ruling, the magistrate found the Irish priest not guilty of failing to comply with conditions of the visa due to lack of evidence.


“In the case of Woolmington vs. DPP, the court held that it is the duty of the prosecution to establish the guilt of the accused for the offence charged beyond reasonable doubt,” said the magistrate.

The court granted the prosecution 14 days to lodge an appeal.


It further ordered that the priest be refunded the cash bail he had deposited and that the passport in the court’s custody be returned to him.

The court also allowed Mr Bracken to go to any immigration office of his choice for assistance to leave Kenya.

The Irish priest was arrested on January 19 by immigration officers over allegations that he was unlawfully in the country. He pleaded not guilty.

The accused told the court that he has never preached in Kenya.