Northern Ireland

Former Manchester United footballer ordained as priest

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Media captionFr Philip Mulryne says his switch from pitch to priesthood was a 'kind of a mystery'

The former Northern Ireland footballer Philip Mulryne has been ordained a Roman Catholic priest in the Dominican Order.

Father Mulryne, who is reported to have once earned £600,000 a year, has also taken a vow of poverty.

Image copyright Philip McShane
Image caption Philip Mulryne prostrate as he was ordained a priest in Dublin on Saturday

He was ordained in Dublin on Saturday by Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, who had travelled from Rome for the ceremony.

Fr Mulryne had been ordained a deacon in October last year.

Image copyright Philip McShane
Image caption Philip Mulryne was ordained by Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia

Belfast-born Fr Mulryne won 27 caps for Northern Ireland in a career that included spells with Norwich City and Leyton Orient.

He made his debut for Manchester United in 1997 after progressing through the youth team.

Unable to forge a lengthy career with the Premier League club, he moved to Norwich City in 1999, but his time at Carrow Road was plagued by injuries.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The west Belfast man was capped 27 times for Northern Ireland, scoring three goals

He officially retired from football in 2009 and began his journey to ordination, entering the Diocesan Seminary of Saint Malachy's Belfast.

He spent two years studying philosophy at Queen's University in Belfast and at the Maryvale Institute before going to the Pontifical Irish College in Rome to study theology for one year at the Gregorian University.

He entered the Dominican Novitiate House in Cork in 2012.

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