Lift the ban on public worship in Ireland

De-criminalise Catholicism


Lift the ban on public worship in Ireland

23,521 people have signed. Help us reach 50,000 signatures.

Lift the ban on public worship in Ireland

UPDATE: At the beginning of Holy Week, the Irish government has confirmed that it is an offence punishable by law for a priest to celebrate public Mass. 

One brave priest has already incurred a EUR 500 fine in defiance of the ban and on Palm Sunday, the Irish Gardai set up three checkpoints on the rural roads near his church in order to stop people from attending. 

This is an attack on basic freedom and one that is not based on any scientific evidence. The measures implemented by Catholic churches have made them the most covid secure places of all! 

Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar and Christians must be free to celebrate it. 

Sign to demand that the Irish government lifts this undemocratic, unscientific and sectarian ban on worship.


Public worship has once again been banned in the Republic of Ireland after the government passed new coronavirus restrictions into law.

This is despite the fact that to date, the Republic has not experienced a single known case of COVID-19 which has been transmitted via attendance at a church service.

While the public celebration of Mass does not constitute a criminal offence, any priest or pastor who leaves their house in order to celebrate Mass or lead a church service, even if only online, could be arrested and face prison.

Ireland is the only country in Europe to impose such draconian restrictions on public worship for such an extended period of time. Many European countries have experienced much higher transmission rates of the virus than Ireland and yet have still been able to attend religious ceremonies, in small numbers, with sensible precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing and hand sanitation.

Freedom of worship is, in any event, a fundamental human right, protected not only by the Irish Constitution but also by EU law.

Faith is still an essential part of every day for many in the Irish republic - an estimated 100,000 who used to attend Mass every single day prior to the pandemic have been deprived of a vital source of spiritual and psychological problems. Other faith communities are being similarly affected and experiencing a sense of loss.

Neither Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) not the Government have indicated that they believe places of worship to be a problem in terms of transmission of the virus and neither have they produced any epidemiological evidence to support the banning of worship.

The Irish government is sending a clear message that they believe religion to be of secondary importance, even though there is overwhelming evidence that suggests that those who attend religious services live happier, healthier and longer lives.

It is vital that during these difficult times, the general public is not deprived of vital spiritual comfort. Places of worship must be trusted to take the appropriate measures to keep their communities safe, as is the case in other countries.

In the absence of any evidence to suggest that infections are linked to religious services, and in country where the overall death rates are linked to easily identifiable sub-groups, the restriction on  public worship is disproportionate and unfair.

Sign the petition asking the Taoiseach Michael Martin, to respect the religious freedoms and sensibilities of the Irish people and lift the ban on public worship.


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Lift Ireland's ban on public worship

Petition to Taoiseach Michael Martin

I write to acknowledge my disappointment and dismay over the Irish Government's continued prohibition on acts of public worship and the failure to engage with the concerns raised by Church leaders. The sight of checkpoints stopping members of the public from attending Mass on Palm Sunday is a source of shame for the country and so too, is the sight of priests being fined for celebrating public Mass. 

It has been repeatedly pointed out to the government that church buildings are among the safest places for people to gather.

There are currently no known instances of transmission taking place inside a place of worship or any deaths from Covid-19 linked to public services.

Ireland is one of the only countries in Europe to ban public worship as part of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Other countries in Europe with higher infection rates are still allowing acts of worship, albeit with sensible precautions such as masks, social distancing and sanitising regimes therefore there is no good reason why Ireland’s faith communities can not be trusted to implement similar measures.

Around 100,000 people are currently being prevented from attending Mass on a daily basis which will have a detrimental effect on their spiritual and psychological well-being at a time when anxiety levels are already heightened, thanks to the effects of the pandemic. 

I respectfully ask the government to recognise that attending worship is an essential part of life for a significant proportion of the Irish population and prioritises the restoration of public worship and the ability to attend church at the earliest opportunity.

Ireland's faithful have been deprived of the opportunity to attend Mass for 6 months and this is now the second Easter where Christians have been prohibited from celebrating the most important and sacred festival in the calendar. 

Yours sincerely,

[Your Name]

Lift the ban on public worship in Ireland

Sign this petition now!

23,521 people have signed. Help us reach 50,000 signatures.