Northern Ireland news

Martina Purdy to embark on new marketing role at Saint Patrick Centre after leaving convent

Martina Purdy, who had been in formation to become a nun with the Adoration Sisters, was forced to leave the convent last year. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
John Monaghan

FORMER BBC NI political correspondent Martina Purdy, who was forced to leave the Adoration Sisters convent last year before taking final vows, is to take up a new marketing post with the Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick.

Ms Purdy, who previously worked for The Irish News, stepped down as BBC NI political correspondent in 2014 and announced she would be joining the Adoration Sisters on the Falls Road in west Belfast.

However, her journey towards becoming a nun was interrupted in September last year, when she was one of four temporary candidates forced to leave against her will after church authorities decided no new candidates would be permitted to take final vows due to unsustainable numbers in the congregation.

Ms Purdy said at the time that it was "deeply painful for all concerned" but that she would continue as a lay Catholic and enter a "period of discernment".

She is now set to take up a marketing post at the Saint Patrick Centre, according to The Sunday Life.

Although the centre, which tells the story of Ireland's patron saint, has been closed for the last few months due to coronavirus, it is making plans for reopening and attracting visitors who will be staying in Ireland for holidays.

"This new period of holidaying at home will offer a chance to showcase what the area has to offer," said a spokesman for the centre.

"Martina will be marketing our initiatives and we will tie these into the forthcoming strategies of Tourism Northern Ireland and the local council."

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Northern Ireland news