Northern Ireland news

Archbishop issues statement after public Mass in Dublin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Connla Young

One of the most senior Catholic bishops in Ireland has urged churches to continuing applying lockdown restrictions after it emerged that a church reopened for public Mass in Co Dublin.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was speaking after members of the public recently attended Mass at the Church of the Guardian Angels in Blackrock.

Parish priest Fr Dermot Leycock said that members of the public have been allowed to enter the church as long as social distance measures are adhered to.

While the Catholic Church is preparing to publish a plan for a return to public worship Covid-19 restrictions remain in place across Ireland.

In his statement Archbishop Martin said he was thinking of those “who have had to bury a loved one without the normal process of grieving, with funeral rites limited to a bare minimum.

“We must show respect for those whose sacrifice has been greatest,” he said.

He added that public health policy "will only work when its proposals and sequencing are fully respected by all".

“There is no room for self-dispensation from or self-interpretation of the norms,” he said.

“Jumping the queue by individuals or communities puts everyone at risk.

“I have reminded all parishes this week that disregard for the norms of public health is something that is unacceptable.”

The Archbishop has been assured the original policy is now being enforced at the church.

“The Dublin parish referred to in media reports in these days has in fact a policy statement on its website stating unambiguously 'public attendance at daily or Sunday Mass is not permissible during the current pandemic'," he said.

“I am assured that the parish has now returned to that policy.”

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Northern Ireland news