Sunday Mass was not delivered on October 21 in an Irish village for the first time in 1,500 years due to the shortage of Catholic priests.
The Church of the Sacred Heart, in Boho, Co. Fermanagh, stands on the site of an early Christian monastery dating back to the sixth century.
But the service was cancelled, as the local Diocese have been forced to alternate Mass between the church in Boho and another in Monea, a neighbouring rural village, every week.
Parishioners were not consulted on the changes and many fear if will threaten people’s local identity. One man in his 90s, who has walked to church every Sunday in Boho, will now have to find a lift in order to go to Mass at another church. The situation is expected to get worse, local clergymen revealed, as the number of priests being ordained is failing to grow. Monsignor McGuiness, who holds a senior post in the Catholic Church, said that the situation had become critical and the church had to deal with the reality that the number of priests will reduce still further.