Tóibín Calls For Funeral Limits to be Increased and Safe Religious Services to Return by Easter Sunday
Speaking at Taoiseach’s Questions in the Dáil today Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called for Funeral limits to be eased and safe religious services to return by Easter Sunday. He stated;
“The death of a family member is one of the rawest emotional times that any one of us will experience. Funerals are incredibly difficult at the best of times but in Covid they are a disaster for many. But at the moment, attendance at a funeral, even for a family member can be a lottery. Priests are forced to turn family members away at the doors of Church”.
“This is having a devastating effect on bereaved family members most especially the young. Several studies point towards the importance of funerals for the processing of grief. Emotional difficulties that can last a life time if people do not grieve properly”.
“Many families who lost loved ones at the start of Covid, who were unable to give them a proper funeral are now approaching the first anniversary. Yet they are still unable to come together to celebrate and remember their loved one’s lives”.
“This is particular cruel given that Churches are often the biggest buildings in each town. Indeed 10 people would be lost in most Churches. Social distancing is easy within a church, ever second pew remains closed off with people encouraged to sit at the end of each seat”.
“The government limits 10 people to a funeral in the largest building while people are allowed to queue with dozens of other people for products such as wine and crisps in smaller shops in the same town. It does not make sense. The reality is that at many funerals people are gathering in their dozens outside Churches in an uncontrolled fashion but are barred from the Church, which is the most controlled setting”.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that religious practice is a human right. Even people with no faith will understand that religious practice is a critically important Human Right. Ireland is a radical outlier in terms of the severity and length of the lockdown. This includes the severity when it comes to funerals and religious practice. Only two other European countries have anything like the restrictions we do in this area. We are calling on the government to allow people return to religious services for Easter Sunday in a safe and socially distanced way”.