Coalition’s capital move on church services for Easter Sunday

Effort to reassure Church of Ireland over traffic restrictions for centenary parade

The spires of Christ Church and St Audoen’s. Easter Sunday services at Christ Church Cathedral and six Church of Ireland parishes in Dublin city centre have been cancelled. Photograph: The Irish Times

The spires of Christ Church and St Audoen’s. Easter Sunday services at Christ Church Cathedral and six Church of Ireland parishes in Dublin city centre have been cancelled. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

The Government has said it is its earnest wish that people who attend Easter church services in Dublin city centre may be able to do so again this year even if there are traffic restrictions surrounding the 1916 centenary parade that day.

It follows a Church of Ireland statement on Monday that Easter Sunday services at Christ Church Cathedral and six Church of Ireland parishes in the city centre have had to be cancelled due to the centenary events.

In a statement on Tuesday the Government said it was “its earnest wish . . . that people would be able to attend their usual places of worship on Easter Sunday if at all possible”.

It hoped that “further consultations can take place that will provide reassurance to the Church of Ireland that it will be possible to facilitate access by parishioners to its Easter ceremonies”.

Safety arrangements

It added that “naturally, given the expected scale of the events and of attendance by the general public on Easter Sunday it will be necessary to put some exceptional public safety arrangements in place”.

In reply the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough Michael Jackson said “we appreciate the Government’s response to the statement issued by the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough yesterday on arrangements to facilitate people in inner city parishes in their worship on Easter Day. We further appreciate the Government’s wish to do all it can to facilitate people in attending their usual places of worship on Easter Day if possible.”

He added that “having considered the traffic restrictions which are to be put in place from 6.00am on Easter Day and the difficulties which would ensue for parishioners trying to access city centre churches”, he and affected clergy had “put measures in place in order to enable parishioners to worship in churches located in areas outside the cordon. We are happy to consult with the organisers of the commemoration on this matter.”