The kidnapped Irish Catholic priest, Fr Michael Sinnott, has been released without injury in the Philippines.

Arriving at Manila Airport, the 79-year-old Wexford priest even tried to make light of his experience.

"Because I am a bit old and I found hiking a bit difficult at times, I think that they'd be glad to kidnap a younger man the next time," he said.

"I was just sleeping on the hammock or sitting, doing nothing else. They did their best to make things as easy as possible for me"

And Fr Sinnot made it clear that his kidnapping had not put him off the Philippines.

"In the immediate future I hope to stay on here in the Philippines to go back to do my work. I don't know what the superiors are going to say about that, but that is my own wish."

Fr Sinnott had spent 32 days in captivity after being kidnapped by Islamic guerrillas on October 11.

He was taken to hospital for a medical examination after he arrived at Manila. Fr Sinnott had multiple bypass surgery on his heart four years ago and many had feared he would not survive the rough conditions in captivity.

The kidnappers released a video of the priest on October 31 and demanded a $2 million ransom.

However, Ireland's Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin said no ransom had been paid.

"As in previous kidnaps no ransom was paid by the Irish Government," he said.

"To do so would have jeopardized the vital work of aid workers and missionaries around the world.

"It has been a tough 32 days for everybody concerned but particularly so for those who were waiting anxiously at the end of the phone for news of their loved one," he said.

A joyous Fr Sinnott was greeted by the Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at Manila airport.