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Northern Ireland's smallest church feared demolished

By Allan Preston

Residents of the Co Antrim coastal town of Portbradden have expressed their dismay after photos appeared online suggesting that the smallest church in Ireland has been demolished.

Built in the 1950s and the size of a garden shed, St Gobban's Church has long been a hit with locals and has hosted dozens of weddings - presumably with short guestlists - over the decades.

It has now been reported that the property, which went up for sale in 2015, has recently been demolished. The site of the non-denominational place of worship had now been sealed off by a large wooden fence restricting the view.

But local resident Nevin Taggart, who runs the North Antrim Local Interest List website, posted pictures of the scene.

The roof of the church had once been visible over the top of the fence - but no longer.

Speaking to the Causeway Coast Community website, UUP councillor Norman Hillis said: "If this is true then indeed this is the end of an era.

"The church was a hidden gem on the Causeway Coast and was a popular tourist attraction.

"We are fortunate to have so many superb places to visit in our area but it is really sad to loose this iconic little church.

"I know there had been strenuous efforts made to save it after a change in ownership in the last couple of years."

The news caused a stir online.

One Facebook user, who did not want to be named, said: "Sure it was a wee bit of blether and became more than the sum of its parts... Possibly the reason I particularly liked it."

And a disappointed Katrina Mcwilliams added that "this is my favourite place in the world".

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