The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland said he is disappointed that Pope Francis is not visiting Northern Ireland when he travels to the Republic in August.
There was an expectation the pope would visit the North as part of the Ireland trip, but it was confirmed at a press conference on Monday that he will not cross the border.
The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, Eamon Martin, said: “We were really hoping this might be an opportunity and I think he really would love to come to Northern Ireland but I suppose the pressures of this particular event and all he wants to do for the World Meeting of the families has overtaken that.
“I don’t get any sense from those I have been speaking to that the Holy Father is ruling out the possibility of ever coming to Northern Ireland.
“I think there will have to be a specific visit and I hope it will be soon.”
Picture: Archbishop Eamon Martin at a press conference at Maynooth University in Co Kildare outlining plans for Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland this summer. (Niall Carson/PA).