Court challenge to ban on public Mass

Court challenge to ban on public Mass Declan Ganley

Irish entrepreneur Declan Ganley has begun a constitutional challenge to the ban on attending Mass and other religious ceremonies.

Co. Galway-based Mr Ganley, who has been a vocal critic on social media of the ban on Mass, initiated judicial review proceedings against Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and the State on Thursday and the matter was mentioned in court this morning (Friday).

The Irish Catholic understands that the court postponed the matter until next month.

It comes as Primate of All-Ireland Archbishop Eamon Martin used a column in The Irish Catholicto urge Catholics to write to their elected representatives calling for restrictions on Masses and other religious ceremonies to be eased.

Archbishop Eamon said that “In making the case for public worship at all stages of lockdown we are not claiming special privilege over other places – like gyms, restaurants or sports. We are simply stating the fact that, for Christians, gathering to worship God is not an optional extra – it is a profound expression of who we are as individual spiritual beings and as Church.

“The communal celebration of Mass and the sacraments is an essential source of nourishment and well-being which is not only positive for individuals, but is also healthy for community resilience and for social cohesion,” the archbishop wrote.

Mr Ganley’s legal time is expected to argue before the High Court that the State’s Covid-19 restrictions preventing public worship is unconstitutional since Bunreacht na hÉireann enshrines the right to worship as a key part of religious freedom.

North of the border, the authorities have not prevented people from attending Mass and other religious ceremonies. The restrictions in the Republic are amongst the most draconian in the world.

If you would like to sign a petition calling on the ban on Mass to be lifted, click here.