Fr Gerard Quirke said celebrating Easter Mass at a penal times Mass rock on Achill Island has a “particular resonance” given the legal ban on Masses.
Fr Quirke of the Achill parish celebrated 7am Mass at the site which was used during the era of penal laws when Catholics endured restrictions on their civil liberties.
He said it was the first time in living memory that Mass had been celebrated at the rock.
“It’s so remote, if congregations could have been there it wouldn’t have been possible really,” he told The Irish Catholic. “I assume that because of its isolated location it was a good spot for a Mass rock.”
Fr Quirke said the recent confirmation that Masses other than for weddings and funerals are now a penal offence influenced his decision to celebrate Mass at the rock.
“Part of my decision for choosing it was that’s where we are,” Fr Quirke said. “I hope that given the precedence of what has happened in Scotland, churches will be opened, especially with regard to Declan Ganley’s case in the courts at the moment. So in a few weeks I’m hoping we should be back to public Mass.”