The leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has opened the first purpose-built mosque in Galway today.

The foundation stone for the building was laid in 2010 and the mosque has been funded by donations from members of the Muslim community.

It has cost more than €1m to complete.

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor travelled to Galway from his London headquarters for today's engagement.

Although the Ahmadiyya community is quite small, with just a couple of hundred members in Ireland, the building will be open to all Muslims.

It will also be used to facilitate inter-faith dialogue between all denominations.

Members from Sligo, Limerick, Mayo, Leitrim, Roscommon and Galway are expected to attend for prayers there on a regular basis.

The Masjid Maryam or Mosque of Mary was designed with a blend of Muslim and Irish features.

It is being opened for traditional Friday prayers and the religion's supreme leader delivered a sermon there.

The Ahmadiyya Community categorically rejects terrorism in any form. Its teaching is that "jihad by the sword" has no place.

Instead, followers are encouraged to wage a bloodless, intellectual "jihad of the pen" to defend Islam.