The Culture Minister has stepped in to say mass in her local church – after the parish priest failed to show up.
The Herald reports that Josepha Madigan was due to do a reading at the Church of St Therese in Mount Merrion on Saturday evening.
However, she ended up performing the majority of the mass and leading prayers after a replacement could not be found for Fr Brian O'Reilly who was scheduled to be away.
She did not read the Gospel or perform communion - because they can only be carried out by an ordained priest.
However, worshippers were still able to receive communion, as there was some pre-blessed bread in the church.
Minister Madigan told Newstalk that it is a “sad reflection of the times we live in” that there was priest available in one of Dublin’s busiest parishes.
She said the ongoing drop-off if new priest ordinations and the aging profile of the clergy will make shortages inevitable across the country in the coming years.
Minister Madigan coordinated the Government’s campaign for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment.
Noting that her faith is extremely important to her, she described the outright ban on abortion as “barbaric.”