1. ITV Report

Hundreds flock to Ash Wednesday drive-through at church in Ireland

Drivers queued up to receive a special Ash Wednesday blessing. Credit: St Patrick's Church / Facebook

An Ash Wednesday drive-through at a church in Ireland has proved to be popular with busy commuters.

Queues of drivers waited to receive ceremonial ashes on their foreheads at St Patrick's church in Glenamaddy, County Galway during the busy morning rush hour.

Parish priest Father Paddy Mooney said the idea of the drive-through blessing was to help people unable to attend Mass.

It targeted the sick, those with difficulty walking, people on their way to work or families en-route to school.

Parish priest Father Paddy Mooney blessing a man with the ash cross. Credit: St Patrick's Church / Facebook

A driveway for Catholics marking the start of the Lent season led right past the front door of the church.

Father Mooney and others stood outside and leaned through car windows to placed an ash cross on each occupants forehead.

Parish secretary Breda Keaveney said: "It was just so reverent and so respectful. There was just a wonderful atmosphere."

Catholics traditionally receive the Ash blessing at a special Mass service. Credit: St Patrick's Church / Facebook

Ms Keaveney said there were also two Masses inside the church for people to receive ashes.

She said: "We were trying to reach people on the go and for some reason not able to attend Mass.

"We are very, very pleased."

Parishioners will review the event to consider whether to repeat it again in the future.