Northern Ireland's only Catholic seminary to close
The only Catholic seminary in Northern Ireland is set to close its doors later this year.
St Malachy's Diocesan Seminary on Belfast's Cliftonville Road will close later this year.
The seminary has been in operation for the past 185 and was staffed by the Diocese of Down and Connor.
It operated alongside Queen's University of Belfast and allowed attendees to study a range of degree pathways at the university.
The seminary is being closed following the closure of the Department of Scholastic Philosophy at Queen's and the discontinuation of modules in scholastic philsophy.
"The closure of the diocesan seminary is a sad moment for all, not least for all those who have worked closely alongside the formation team and who have contributed immensely to the formation of the seminarians," a Diocese of Down and Conor statement read.
"However, in arriving at this difficult decision, the diocese and the seminary formation team have focused on what is in the best interests of the seminarians who are currently in formation.
"The Diocese of Down and Connor is deeply indebted to all those who have contributed to St Malachy’s Seminary over the years. In particular, it thanks the current formation team under the direction of Fr Michael Spence, the Rector of the Seminary."
The seminary was previously based at St Malachy's College on the Antrim Road before moving to its current premises in February 2013.
The facilities will continue to be used for various diocesan purposes and services.
Belfast Telegraph Digital