BBC journalist Martina Purdy has quit her job to join a religious congregation as a nun.
What is she leaving behind?
With 25 years in journalism, 15 of which were with the BBC, Ms Purdy called her career an “immensely rewarding profession”. “I know many people will not understand this decision. It is a decision that I have not come to lightly, but it is one that I make with love and great joy,” she said. “I ask for prayers as I embark on this path with all humility, faith and trust.” She will become an Adoration Sister, whose roles include making altar bread.
So no more news?
Sadly not. BBCNI’s head of news, Kathleen Carragher, said: “[Purdy] has contributed a huge amount over the years to BBC Northern Ireland output, during a period of significant political development.” Born in Belfast but raised in Canada, Ms Purdy went to the University of Toronto and the city’s Ryerson School of Journalism. Following six years on the Belfast Telegraph, where she reported on the talks leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, she became the BBC Northern Ireland correspondent. She is widely regarded as one of the most recognisable faces and voices on Northern Ireland’s news.
Sick of the rat race?
Although she used Twitter to announce her decision, she intends to join a “contemplative community” and called for privacy. “This is a very personal decision. I ask that the media respect my privacy and that of the religious congregation which I am entering … I will not be making any further public comment about this matter,” she said. And she seems to have embarked on her new career almost immediately: on Sunday, she was spotted on her way to Mass at St Peter’s Cathedral in Belfast (pictured, centre).
Going for the quiet life...
She may be leaving politics but she certainly had a few things to say back in the day. She is well known for grilling Gerry Kelly, a member of Sinn Fein, and Peter Robinson, First Minister of Northern Ireland, over budget decisions.