Taoiseach confirms public Mass can begin from June 29

Taoiseach confirms public Mass can begin from June 29

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed this afternoon (Friday) that Catholics can start to safely gather together for Mass from June 29, following health and safety protocols.

He also announced that from Monday up to 25 people can attend funerals.

Last night Archbishop Diarmuid said that he will meet with other members of the hierarchy on Monday to finalise guidelines that were first revealed in The Irish Catholic last week.

The archbishop urged parishes to “progress the preparation of our churches so that if possible we are fully ready towards the end of June”.

The bishops’ conference is expected to issue guidelines early next week.

Dr Martin said that “each parish should be building up a core group that can monitor preparation. It will be an opportunity to ask young people to volunteer”.

Underlining the need for vigilance, he said that “it is important that in this situation we should be careful to observe the current norms and show that we will be in a position to implement and respect norms should the timeline change.

“Jumping the queue can set everyone back,” he said.

“The advice that is given in other countries is: be ready by the date; if you are not fully ready, wait until you are ready; if it is not possible to apply the guidelines, remain closed.

“It may not be possible for all churches to open and provide the necessary supervision needed. Initially, many people will be fearful of attending indoor gatherings.

“Watching televised Masses from other European countries in these days, I realise that Mass with social distancing is not the joyful celebration that we might desire – but it is an important first stage,” he said.