Live updates

Urgent restoration needed to save Long Tower Chapel

Long Tower Chapel in Londonderry is one of the most historically significant churches in Northern Ireland, but now the iconic building needs to be saved.

The church sits on a sacred site, where some believe Columba - patron saint of Derry - established his very first monastery.

The current church was opened 229 years ago when Catholic and Protestants clubbed together to raise the money needed to build it.

But its stonework is crumbling and, as Gareth Wilkinson reports, urgent restoration is required before it is too badly damaged.


Controversy over ‘satanic’ films showing in former church

The former Holy Rosary Church on the Ormeau Road in south Belfast. Credit: UTV

Concerns have been raised over plans to screen horror films like The Exorcist and The Omen, branded “satanic” by a Belfast alderman, in a former church.

The Belfast Film Festival is set to show the chilling movies in the former Holy Rosary Catholic Church on the Ormeau Road in the south of the city.

The building has not been used as a church in almost 40 years, is no longer consecrated, and is to be turned into a restaurant in future.

But some people are still not happy about the horror screening’s choice of venue.

UUP alderman Jim Rodgers, a former Lord Mayor of Belfast told UTV he was appealing to the organisers to relocate.

“Holy Rosary was a beautiful church – it’s still a beautiful building and people were buried there, baptised, married …” he said.

“There’s plenty of other locations in the city of Belfast that these satanic films could be shown in.”

Mr Rodgers added: “It is just a building, but a very important building, and I don’t like to see former churches and chapels used for things like this.

“It’s a bit like some of the churches which have now been turned into pubs – I’m totally opposed to that.”

In a statement, festival organisers defended their decision.

“The locations chosen add an extra dimension to the screening, and we think the stone cold surroundings of an abandoned church will make for a suitably chilling viewing experience,” they said.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Relic of Mother Teresa in west Belfast

The relic of Mother Teresa, who was made a saint in 2016. Credit: Pacemaker

Hundreds of people have come together in the Ballymurphy area of west Belfast to honour a saint who lived among them.

A relic of Mother Teresa was brought into Corpus Christ Church in Ballymurphy on Tuesday night by nuns of the same order she set up.

The relic is in Belfast this week as part of a tour to every diocese in Ireland.

Credit: Pacemaker


Load more updates