I have been a priest for 46 years and I have never broken, or was tempted to break, the Seal of Confession.
I have heard stories of priests breaking the Seal and passing on information about seminarians to seminary authorities or about priests to bishops.
A priest or bishop who breaks the Seal of Confession is AUTOMATICALLY EXCOMMUNICATED and in my understanding that censure is reserved to the pope.
I do not know if the civil authorities in Ireland or the UK would attempt to force a priest to break the seal of Confession?
It would certainly be a major step for the Church and priests to contend with.
If that happened I think the Church would have to encourage penitents to confess inaudibly to the priest and then the priest to pronounce absolution audibly.
FORGIVENESS v ABSOLUTION
It is important to remember that only God forgives, not the priest.
The priest, as minister of the Sacrament, only pronounces the words of absolution.
On one or two occasions in my 46 years I have heard things in Confession that made me feel that the penitent had further work to do on a matter discussed and on the question of restitution. This was always resolved in a kind, compassionate and mutually agreeable way.
I have never, ever, refused anyone absolution.
I too, and all priests, enter the Confessional as sinners.