Minority Faith Groups Join Call for to Worship and Funerals to Return Sooner
Aontú leader Deputy Peadar Tóibín has criticised the fact that while sporting events and the opening of restaurants are permitted in June, under the government's phased reopening of Ireland plan, places of worship will remain closed until July 20th.
Deputy Tóibín said:
"This morning I had a very constructive meeting with a number of minority faith groups and their representatives. Many immigrants who come to this country take great solace in joining their local Church, Mosque or Synagogue in Ireland where they find community and friendship. My heart goes out to our immigrants who must be feeling particularly lonely during these strange times"
The deputy continued: "Last week in the Dáil, the Fianna Fáil leader spoke about golf and the Health Minister said that people at this moment in time can play sports such as golf and tennis. Under the government's plans to re-open the country, sporting events and the opening of restaurants will be permitted from next month, and yet places of worship will not re-open until late July. If the Taoiseach can gather with friends in the Phoneix Park, I see no logic in deferring the phased re-opening of places of worship until July. The Churches that I have spoken to have outlined their ideas and draft plans to me which will allow them socially distance for the duration of their services. This includes religious ceremonies in car parks or even in cars if raining with the service transmitted over radio”.
"Many people will have seen the Taoiseach gather in a fairly full Phoenix Park to socialise. Surely if this can be done in a socially distant manner it makes no sense what so ever that funerals in large grave yards across the county cannot take place. Supporting friends and families as they bring their loved ones on their final journey is an essential part of life throughout Ireland. We are calling again on the government to facilitate funerals and religious practice to take place in a socially distant manner. We think it is very important that our immigrant community are protected at this time and allowed to gather in a physically distant manner to prevent them from succumbing to isolation, homesickness and loneliness. I am calling on An Taoiseach to listen to the concerns of faith groups and hear them out in the detailed ideas and plans they have drafted for how they could reopen their places of worship while still adhering to public health measures", concluded the deputy.