Former BBC political correspondent Martina Purdy has left the convent

Martina Purdy
Martina Purdy
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Martina Purdy, BBC News NI's former political correspondent has left the convent.

Mr Purdy and Elaine Kelly, a former lawyer who joined around the same time, will not be allowed to take their final vows.

The two women had given up high-profile careers to join a Belfast convent - but left their congregation this afternoon.

In a personal statement, Ms Purdy said it was not their choice to leave the convent where they have spent the past five years.

The women said they were told the congregation was "too small" to meet the Catholic Church's standards.

Statement from Martina Purdy

Statement from Martina Purdy

Martina Purdy and Elaine Kelly

Martina Purdy and Elaine Kelly