Concerns in Cork over restrictions for religious services 

Concerns in Cork over restrictions for religious services 

Aontú Cork North West candidate Becky Kealy outside Cobh Cathedral with a letter for the Bishop of Cloyne William Crean. The letter is asking for masses to continue in churches through out the diocese while mass goers observe social distancing and hygiene etiquette.

The government is being urged to ensure against the “unjustified” closure of religious services. 

At the weekend, Aontú Representative, Becky Kealy presented a letter to the Bishop of Cloyne William Crean on behalf of mass-goers who had contacted her, which outlined what she said were the concerns of the many Corkonians who she said had contacted her about the impact of Level 3 restrictions on religious services.

“It all kicked off two weeks ago with the possibility of Cork going into Level 3 was being discussed and my phone just started hopping. People were sending me emails and sending me messages saying they wanted mass to continue and saying that they don’t see how Level 3 should affect that and I totally agree with them,” she said.

Ms Kealy has questioned what she described as the “over-restriction of religious services” in comparison to other services which remain open and available under Level 3.

"It doesn’t make any sense that you can go for food, you can go for drinks, you can get your hair done, you can go shopping, you can go to school. That’s all great and I'm not knocking any of that but looking at the size of our churches and the daily attendance that goes to mass- the average capacity that a church can hold is 600 people and the average daily attendees is 40," she said.

"People have been contacting me to tell me that they have never felt as safe as they did inside of the church. It was one of the safest places for people to be."

Ms Kealy also noted that the issue is impacting people of all ages and of different religions in Cork and across Ireland.

“Out of all of the issues that I have brought up in the past, this is definitely a big one at the moment because there is just no justification for it. It’s totally irrational,” she added.

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