Declan O'Rourke said he refused an invitation to perform for the Pope when he visits Ireland in August because he wouldn't have been allowed to acknowledge victims of clerical abuse.

The Dublin singer-songwriter was approached to take part in a concert in Croke Park on August 25 which is being organised as part of Pope Francis's visit and said it presented a "moral dilemma". However, O'Rourke said he had to turn down the offer as he wanted to stick to his principles.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One's Liveline, O'Rourke said: "I got an email asking about my availability and would I be willing to be involved.

"That was a bit shocking at the start. I had a moral dilemma to say the least.

"I’m not a religious person, no disrespect to anyone else’s beliefs. But, you know, I feel the Catholic church is responsible for so much suffering in this country. And I felt that you know if there was going to be a big ordeal made of family and everything, that some kind of gesture would have to be made."

The musician went on to say that he wanted to use the performance as an "acknowledgement" of victims of clerical abuse.

"I would have used my performance, I suppose as a platform for that purpose somehow. Not disrespectfully. But just in solidarity, you know?" he told host Joe Duffy.

"I would have just said this goes out on behalf, in acknowledgement, of the victims of clerical abuse around this country."

O'Rourke said that while he initially agreed to play the concert, once he realised that he wouldn't be able to play his own music, he decided to withdraw from the line-up.

"After weighing it all up, I decided to say yes to the point where something put me off and I’ll just pull out.

"The next thing was a phone call to discuss how it would run and basically they asked me to take part in the performance of one song, it would have been singing a song with Finbar Furey and Shane MacGowan.

"It was Rainy Night In Soho, which is a beautiful song and they’re two absolute heroes of mine but it wasn’t my song… there was no room for any of my songs. They said it was a very tightly scripted two hour show.

"If I wasn’t going to get to do what I wanted to do in at least playing some of my music and making that statement somehow, which they wouldn’t have allowed of course."

After discussing his decision with several close family members, he feels it was the right one for him.

"You have to have your principles and I believe that standing up there and taking part in that concert if you didn’t make the right acknowledgement of those victims would be wrong."

Listen back to the full interview on Liveline here.