New poll finds half of regular Mass-goers would return now

New poll finds half of regular Mass-goers would return now Photo: Alessandra Tarantino

A new survey carried out has shown that almost half (47%) of regular Mass goers would attend Mass today if they could, despite the ongoing pandemic.

The poll, which was commissioned by the Iona Institute, found that 57% of regular Mass-goers went again over Christmas, and over 24% of the overall population.

The same research revealed that the numbers of people watching religious services online is increasing, rising to 30% in the latest lockdown, with the figure in the first lockdown being 27%.

Commenting on the latest findings, an Iona spokesperson described the rise in people viewing Mass online as “encouraging”.

“You might have expected that weariness with the situation might cause people to switch off, but the opposite seems to have happened. Obviously, a lot of people find solace in this way,” they said.

“At the same time, almost half of Mass-goers want to return to public worship now. Given the age group of those who mainly attend religious services, including Mass, this is a high number.”

This finding comes as Ireland remains one of the only countries in Europe banning public worship completely. The majority of EU countries allows public worship to take place with strict limits on the numbers.

“Both NPHET and the Government have previously admitted that they have no direct evidence to justify the ban on public worship. It is disproportionate and should be lifted in line with almost all of Europe.

“At a minimum it should be permitted again once we drop down out of Level 5. Under the current Government plan, it will not be allowed until Level 2, which could be months away,” the spokesperson said.