Hundreds of people marked the start of Lent by attending a drive-thru Ash Wednesday service in Co Galway earlier today. 

Motorists were able to avail of the Ash Wednesday ashes and blessing by driving into the ground of St Patrick's Church in Glenamaddy. 

A steady flow of cars were greeted by Parish Priest Father Paddy Mooney and two assistants, who dispensed ashes and gave a blessing. 

The process took less than a minute. 

The idea came about four years ago following discussions by the Glenamaddy Pastoral Council, who were looking at ways to help people to mark Ash Wednesday - the first day of lent. 

The novel approach was aimed at parishioners who could not make mass today due to other commitments.