Public worship restrictions ‘most far-reaching and disproportionate in Europe’, says legal advocate

Ireland’s restrictions on religious worship are now the most far-reaching and disproportionate in Europe.

That’s according to an Irish Barrister and Legal Counsel for the human rights advocacy firm, ADF International.

In response to a challenge at the High Court, the government has confirmed that it is a criminal offense for a priest to conduct mass unless for the purpose of a funeral or a wedding. Similarly, worshippers could face a fine or up to 6 months jail time for leaving their homes to attend a place of worship.

Lorcan Price said freedom of religion is a fundamental right, secured by the Irish Constitution and international law.

“Where a government introduces restrictions on religious worship in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the restrictions must be proportionate and reasonable. The blanket ban on all worship in Ireland is clearly disproportionate as can be seen by looking to the approach taken by almost every other European country,” he said.