Taoiseach Michéal Martin, has written to church leaders yesterday evening to tell them there will be “positive consideration” for re-opening places of worship in May, possibly as early as the 4th of May, all pending on public health advice.

 

This news will come as a relief to Bishop of Meath, Rev Tom Deenihan who told Meath Live in March that he was in “full support of having the churches open, as long as it is healthy to do so”. Deenihan was of the opinion that churches were safe as they were large buildings, there was less movement and social distancing rules can be adhered to properly.

 

In the same month, two Meath politicians, Deputy Peadar Tóibin and Senator Sharon Keogan, took part in the #Reopenourchurches campaign, which called for churches to be reopened for Easter services and worship.

 

Aontú, reacting to the news that churches may reopen in May, stated that “the government needs to reopen churches safely now”. Citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of religion; this includes practice, worship and observance”, they claimed that Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and The Green Party, have “made this human right a criminal offence”.