Lift the ban on public worship in Ireland

Don't neglect the needs of the faithful!


Lift the ban on public worship in Ireland

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Lift the ban on public worship in Ireland

Public worship has once again been banned in the Republic of Ireland after the government passed new coronavirus restrictions into law.

This is despite the fact that to date, the Republic has not experienced a single known case of COVID-19 which has been transmitted via attendance at a church service.

While the public celebration of Mass does not constitute a criminal offence, any priest or pastor who leaves their house in order to celebrate Mass or lead a church service, even if only online, could be arrested and face prison.

Ireland is the only country in Europe to impose such draconian restrictions on public worship for such an extended period of time. Many European countries have experienced much higher transmission rates of the virus than Ireland and yet have still been able to attend religious ceremonies, in small numbers, with sensible precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing and hand sanitation.

Freedom of worship is, in any event, a fundamental human right, protected not only by the Irish Constitution, but also by EU law.

Faith is still an essential part of every day for many in the Irish republic - an estimated 100,000 who used to attend Mass every single day prior to the pandemic have been deprived of vital source of spiritual and psychological problems. Other faith communities are being similarly affected and experiencing a sense of loss.

Neither Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) not the Government have indicated that they believe places of worship to be a problem in terms of transmission of the virus and neither have they produced any epidemiological evidence to support the banning of worship.

The Irish government is sending a clear message that they believe religion to be of secondary importance, even though there is overwhelming evidence which suggests that those who attend religious services live happier, healthier and longer lives.

It is vital that during these difficult times, the general public are not deprived of vital spiritual comfort. Places of worship must be trusted to take the appropriate measures to keep their communities safe, as is the case in other countries.

In the absence of any evidence to suggest that infections are linked to religious services, and in country where the overall death rates are linked to easily identifiable sub-groups, the restriction on  public worship is disproportionate and unfair.

Sign the petition asking the Taoiseach Michael Martin, to respect the religious freedoms and sensibilities of the Irish people and lift the ban on public worship.


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Lift Ireland's ban on public worship

Petition to Taoiseach Michael Martin

I write to acknowledge my disappointment that following your meeting with Church leaders who underlined the importance of the  role of faith in society, that the Irish government nonetheless decided not to relax the current ban on public worship.

Ireland is one of the only countries in Europe to ban public worship as part of the Covid-19 restrictions. (Although Wales have similar restrictions this is only for a period of 3 weeks).

There are currently no known instances of transmission having taken place inside a place of worship or any deaths from Covid-19 linked to public services.

Other countries in Europe with higher infection rates are still allowing acts of worship, albeit with sensible precautions such as masks, social distancing and sanitising regimes therefore there is no good reason why Ireland’s faith communities can not be trusted to implement similar measures.

Around 100,000 people are currently being prevented from attending Mass on a daily basis which will have a detrimental effect on their spiritual and psychological well-being at a time when anxiety levels are already heightened, thanks to the effects of the pandemic. 

I respectfully ask the government recognises that attending worship is an essential part of life for a significant proportion of the Irish population and prioritises the restoration of public worship and the ability to attend church at the earliest opportunity.

As we approach a long winter with the threat of a second wave of the virus, it is more important than ever before that worshippers are not denied the consolation of attending services and receiving the Eucharist and that Christians in particular, can look forward to the celebration of Christmas as a community. 

Yours sincerely, 

[Ihr Name]

Lift the ban on public worship in Ireland

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