A priest addressed a group gathered to pray in the Phoenix Park last night as pressure grows on the government to lift a ban on public Masses.

The group, who prayed the rosary at the event, were asked by a priest to pray that the government will “learn to respect God again” and that the Catholic Church would be allowed to hold public Masses.

The gathering at the Papal Cross in the Phoenix Park took place in a week five bishops met with the Taoiseach to express their dissatisfaction with the restrictions, but no change to the ban on public worship has been made so far.

Another priest in Co. Monaghan, Fr. Sean Mulligan, has strongly criticised the lockdown measures being taken by the government in a sermon that went viral last week.

He said people’s freedom was “slowly being stripped away from us”, pointing to restrictions on travel, groups gathering in houses or protests, and “even our freedom to practice our faith in public”.

Kerry priest Fr. Gearoid Walsh also took the airwaves to express his opposition to the lockdowns, telling RTÉ’s Joe Duffy that public worship has not been so disturbed in his area since the Black and Tans burned down a presbytery 100 years ago in his parish of Ballymacelligott.