Cardinal Sean Brady has written to the Gaelic Athletic Association requesting they stop scheduling football games at the same time as Sunday morning Mass.

Cardinal Brady, who is the archbishop of Armagh sent the correspondence  to the four county boards of Armagh, Derry, Tyrone and Louth.

It is though he decided to write the letter after several priests expressed their concerns over the parishioners missing mass due to the starting time of games.

Michael Kelly, the deputy editor of The Irish Catholic Newspaper told BBC News that the issue was becoming an "increasingly bigger problem at under-age games".

Kelly added that priests have been voicing these concerns for a number of years.

"Most of the inter-county action happens on Sunday afternoons, sometimes Saturday evenings, but it is the under-age games that are tending to take place on the Sunday morning and when there aren't games there is sometimes training scheduled for Sunday morning," he said.

Read more:

Cardinal Sean Brady sued over Church sex abuse cover-up

Irish Cardinal is invited to British royal wedding

I will not resign in child abuse scandal, says Irish Catholic Cardinal Sean Brady

"Now in a large urban area where there are a lot of different Masses to choose from it is not really a problem, it is in a rural area where maybe there is only one Sunday morning Mass.

"It is difficult, because parents with young children who want to bring them to Mass are being forced to decide between bringing them to Mass or allowing them to play football and hurling.

"With the best will in the world, if you ask an 11-year-old young fella or girl what they want to choose, I don't think there will be much of a decision."

A Tyrone County Board member confirmed to the Irish News that the Cardinal’s letter had been received. 

Cardinal Sean BradyGoogle Images