SINGER Christy Moore has said that next week's Eucharistic Congress should not be held in Ireland and he wishes that it "would go away."
The 67-year-old musician spoke out yesterday to oppose the event, which takes place every four years at a location designated by the Pope.
More than 200,000 people are expected to take part in the congress which culminates with a special Mass in Croke Park on June 17 -- with a capacity crowd expected to attend.
"I have no idea why they decided to bring it here. I don't think it should be held here. I just wish it would go away because I hate it all," Mr Moore told the Irish Independent.
One of Ireland's most popular singing stars, Mr Moore is a long-time opponent of the Catholic hierarchy, who he has castigated in a number of his songs.
"I've been writing about the church for 30 or 40 years. I have a song called 'Strange Ways', it's about the whole f***ing lot of them.
"I hate it (the Catholic hierarchy) but I don't think about it too much because it tends to make me angry," he said.
Mr Moore was speaking at the launch of the second annual RAAP/RTE Breakthrough Bursary at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin yesterday.
The bursary was set up by Recorded Artists Actors Performers (RAAP) and RTE Radio to support the country's emerging musicians.
Musicians have until 4pm on Thursday, August 9 to enter and can do so at www.rte.ie/breakthrough.