Sunday Mass was not delivered 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 two weeks ago 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. As reported by, Father Brian D’Arcy, a priest from Northern Ireland, believes that reducing Masses is only going to result in closing churches permanently, adding: “Eventually it will come to closing churches if we keep on doing the same thing.”

The situation is expected to get worse, local clergymen revealed, as the number of priests being ordained is failing to grow.