A former regional journalist who went on to become a well-known face on the BBC is quitting the profession after almost a quarter of a century– to join a religious congregation.
Martina Purdy spent six years at the Belfast Telegraph as business editor and then political correspondent before making the switch into TV.
She worked for the BBC for 15 years and was one of the North Ireland news team’s political correspondents.
Martina tweeted a leaving statement “for personal reasons” to her 11,000 Twitter followers, signing off: ‘God bless, Martina xx’.
She said: “I know many people will not understand this decision. It is a decision that I have not come to lightly, but it is one that I make with love and great joy.
“I ask for prayers as I embark on this path with all humility, faith and trust.”
BBC NI director Peter Johnston said: “We are extremely sad to be losing Martina. She has made a big contribution to our political coverage over many years and she will be greatly missed.
“I wish her well in the new direction she has chosen for her life.”
Head of news, Kathleen Carragher, added: “Martina Purdy is one of BBC NI’s most talented and hardworking correspondents.
“She has contributed a huge amount over the years to BBC NI’s output, during a period of significant political developments.”
Martina, who has devoted almost 25 years to a career in journalism, added: “This is a very personal decision. I ask that the media respect my privacy and that of the religious congregation which I am entering, as I face up to the new challenges of my life.
“I will not be making any further public comment about this matter.”