And lo, it has come to pass!
First the Tories announced that they have elected a West Belfast Catholic, Peter McCann, to stand in South Belfast (if the local UUP Association don't object too much).
Then the Tories found themselves a woman - DUP defector Deirdre Nelson - to stand in East Belfast. Deirdre, despite her lovely Irish forename, is a Protestant (though the Tories fail to point this out, although they are quick to tell us the Catholics' religion).
But now they seem to have hit the jackpot. Their selected candidate for Lagan Valley is a Catholic Woman - Sheila Davidson.
As Tory spokeman for Northern Ireland, Owen Patterson, puts it:
"Only last week, local Conservatives short-listed Catholic businesswoman, Sheila Davidson, in Lagan Valley, in South Belfast, Peter McCann, a Catholic former BBC producer of Top Gear from West Belfast and in East Belfast, Cllr Deirdre Nelson, who defected from the DUP on Ballymena Council."
Now why would a non-sectarian party feel the need to tell us the religions of Davidson and McCann, but not Nelson?
Of course, each of these worthies will need to be selected from a short-list of two - a Tory and a UUP candidate. In each case, the Tory will be up against a UUP incumbent (or long-time hopeful). In Nelson's case, that long-time hopeful is none other than Reg Empey himself. Is he going to agree to Nelson standing instead of him?
Rumour has it that the Tories are insisting on a 50:50 split of seats (i.e. in nine seats the UCUNF candidate should be a Tory rather than a UUP member). Presumably part of this assertiveness is that these nine seats should include some where a UCUNF candidate is electable - i.e. the Tories will probably not be happy to be 'gifted' the candidacy in seats west of the Bann. So which UUP hopefuls are going to be passed over, and how will they take it? Time will tell.
Of course the chance of any of the Tories Catholics actually getting elected is small - especially since they are virtually guaranteed to be lent no DUP votes, and may well lose some UUP votes if the local UUP hopefuls feel aggrieved at having been passed over for a Tory blow-in.