Priests have hit out at people who are calling for public Masses to be reinstated.

The Association of Catholic Priests says it is 'grossly irresponsible'.

The association has released a statement, saying "efforts demanding that churches be kept open and public Masses reinstated are being canvassed by people and groups with their own self-serving and self-interested agendas".

Priests say that gathering people together at present - especially elderly people who are most at risk - is grossly irresponsible and will lead to great pain, suffering and loss of life.

Under the current roadmap of easing restrictions, churches will be allowed to reopen during the fourth phase on July 20th.

Fr Roy Donovan, based in Co Limerick, is spokesperson for the Association of Catholic Priests.

Speaking with Midwest News this evening, he said it's important to keep following the advice of the public health officials, and this means not returning to public Masses until it's safe to do so.....

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