Public Worship restrictions ‘excessive and disproportionate’ say ICCL

A leading human rights group has said the pandemic related restrictions on public worship were excessive and disproportionate interferences with human rights.

Liam Herrick, executive director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) was commenting on the government’s proposed extension of Covid-19 emergency powers.

He said that there was no justification for the Health Minister retaining “unlimited” powers when public health restrictions were being eased. Herrick called for the Oireachtas to conduct an “extensive review” of the powers before any decision is taken to extend them.

In relation to public worship and the right to protest, Herrick told the Oireachtas health committee Tuesday: “While many of the regulations served a clear and understandable purpose, in the absence of any human rights impact assessment, ICCL believes that some regulations have presented excessive and disproportionate interferences with human rights – such as the failure to adequately respect the right to protest and worship”.