‘I am not doing anything wrong’: Priest defends holding regular Mass during lockdown

‘There hasn’t been one person who has got Covid’, says Fr Willie Cummins of Ennistymon

Asked how many Sundays he has celebrated mass during the current Covid-19 lockdown, Fr Willie Cummins said: ‘The whole time.’ Photograph: iStock

Asked how many Sundays he has celebrated mass during the current Covid-19 lockdown, Fr Willie Cummins said: ‘The whole time.’ Photograph: iStock

 

A parish priest has defended staging regular Sunday morning Masses during Covid-19 lockdown saying that no person has got the virus from attending his services.

Parish priest of Ennistymon, Fr Willie Cummins was speaking on Sunday after 48 people attended 11am mass at the local Catholic church in the north Clare town.

At the end of the mass, Fr Cummins told those in attendance: “Thank you all for coming and with the help of God, there will be even more next Sunday.”

From Monday, 50 people can attend religious services, However, during the Covid-19 Level 5 lockdown, it has been a criminal offence to attend public mass, other than funerals and weddings.

In an interview outside the church after Mass, Fr Cummins said: “There hasn’t been one person who has got Covid from being in there.”

Asked how many Sundays he has celebrated mass during the current Covid-19 lockdown, Fr Cummins said: “The whole time.”

Asked was 50 the average attendance at his Sunday mass, he replied: “There would often be some more.”

“I am not doing anything wrong,” he added.

“Look at the size of the Church. It is all sanitised and the doors are left open all day.”

During Mass on Sunday in the large church, there was one person in each row separated by two rows to the next person with the vast majority of mass goers wore masks.

Fr Cummins said: “I wouldn’t do it if I was causing trouble.”

He said the Government and all those people who are making up those rules “don’t give an ounce of intelligence to anybody”.

“Let us use our own bit of common sense.”

He said: “Go to Lahinch and see the crowds there at the weekends and from Thursday evening on, every second car going there is a ‘D’ reg.”

Asked if the Gardaí have been in touch concerning the Sunday morning masses, Fr Cummins replied: “No, the Gardaí are very understanding people.”

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