BECKY KEALY: Churches In The North To Open In Time For Easter - Mass Is Still Prohibited South Of The Border
Aontú Rep for Cork North-West, Becky Kealy, has called on the Irish Government to reopen churches in time for Easter, as Churches have been reopened in the North in time for the Easter Holidays.
“So far in 2021, no people of faith in Ireland have been able to attend religious services. For the vast majority of 2020, people of faith were banned from going to mass. Ireland is an outlier in terms of restrictions. For Christians, we will be unable to attend Easter services for the second time in little over a year. For Jews, the celebration of Pesach will once again be severely restricted. All the while, religious services are being reopened in the North
in time for this crucial time of year for people of faith. The Irish government have continually ignored and rebuffed reasonable requests for a return to socially-distanced religious services. Under the logic of this government, you can cram into a supermarket to get wine and crisps – but a socially-distanced religious service is considered a potential super-spreader of the virus. The mental gymnastics of the government’s restrictions are baffling.”
“At one point, our ban on religious services was only matched by North Korea and Saudi Arabia. When Bishops raised with the Taoiseach restrictions on funeral services and regular church services – the Taoiseach said he was ‘surprised’ by the move even though it has been consistently raised with the government for the past year. When I made the call for church services to be reopened in time for Easter, the Taoiseach responded that the restrictions would be reviewed on April 5 th – after Easter has already passed. Funeral services are still restricted to 10 people forcing bereaved families into traumatic choices and hampering the grieving process. Anniversary services for those deceased in the first wave of the pandemic are coming up but are again being restricted to 10 people. This means there are people who were unable to attend the funeral service a year ago, will be unable to attend the anniversary service, and will have to have waited two years to attend any service commemorating the passing of a loved one. These restrictions are cruel and painful for all involved. The government needs to end the restrictions on religious and funeral services.”