Cookstown pensioner shot in the Congo going back before Christmas

Maud with her OBE
Maud with her OBE

Cookstown pensioner Maud Kells is heading back to DR Congo, less than a year after she was shot by bandits in the country and almost died.

Not at all worried about her return, the plucky lady said she hopes to help free the men falsely implicated in her attack while finishing off the nursery she started.

Maud after she returned from Congo to recover from her shooting

Maud after she returned from Congo to recover from her shooting

Maud, who has been hard at work in Cookstown since coming home to recover, was targeted by three men in January - just days after the Queen included her in the new year’s honours list.

Ms Kells made her way to Buckingham Palace in May to receive her OBE from Prince William, whom she said had asked about her injuries.

Although busy in Northern Ireland with appearances and meetings, Maud said she had asked permission from her Missionary organisation and church to go back to DR Congo and they have allowed her three months.

“There are some innocent people who have been accused in this shooting incident, so I would like to try and get their names cleared,” she told the Mail.

“And then finish off the nursery we were building and hand over the work in an orderly fashion because when I left I was unconscious.

“That’s what I would like to do when I go back.”

When asked if she was worried about returning as one of the men involved in her shooting was never found, she simply said “no”.

“One of the bandits was arrested that night and then a few weeks later the one who shot me was arrested, so they’re both in prison - they say there’s a third one, but he hasn’t been arrested - I think they’re still searching for him.”

But before she leaves, she said she has a lot of work to get through.

“It will probably be the end of November or early December,” she said. “But they have given me permission to go back for three months.”

However Maud said she hasn’t told people in the Congo of her plans to return yet and will have to wait on a visa.

“I have a lot of things to do before then - I’ve got meetings every day.”

And when she is back in the country she said “they will have on extra security for me.”