Catholic archbishops take legal advice over ban on public masses

Ireland's Catholic archbishops are taking legal advice over the Health Minister's move to ban public masses and other religious services in church.

Stephen Donnelly signed the law making them a criminal offence last week, a move described as 'clandestine' by the Primate of All-Ireland, Eamon Martin.

He says the measure was introduced without notice or consultation, and is a breach of trust.

He says church leaders want the rule suspended and are seeking a meeting with Minister Donnelly on the matter.