Easter services should not be cancelled due to 1916 events - Shatter
Church of Ireland suspended Christ Church services over centenary parade restrictions
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Alan Shatter in Dundrum. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Former minister for justice Alan Shatter has said it is entirely wrong that Easter Sunday services at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin should have to be cancelled because of restrictions surrounding the 1916 centenary parade.
Last Monday the Church of Ireland said Easter Sunday services at Christ Church and six city centre parishes have had to be cancelled due to centenary events.
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 said that it hoped “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”.
Commenting on Friday, Mr Shatter said that “as a former minister for justice and for defence, I am very aware of the likely detailed security and traffic restrictions required for the 1916 commemoration event in Dublin on Easter Sunday.
“However, I believe that appropriate arrangements can be made to facilitate the Church of Ireland community.”
He also said he believed it “entirely wrong that their annual service in Christ Church Cathedral should have to be cancelled.
“I hope that my colleagues in Government, in consultation with An Garda Síochána. will ensure that it is resolved without undue delay.”
Mr Shatter said members of the Church of Ireland had contacted him asking that this issue be addressed.
Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson had said that due to difficulties arising from traffic restrictions in Dublin city centre on Easter Sunday, he and affected clergy “put measures in place in order to enable parishioners to worship in churches located in areas outside the cordon”.
However, he said the church was “happy to consult with the organisers of the commemoration on this matter”.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
Services at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin will take place as normal on Easter Sunday.
The Church of Ireland’s National Service of Commemoration of the Easter Rising will also take place at the cathedral at 15.15 pm on Sunday, April 24th.
It is part of a series of events marking the centenary of 1916 at the cathedral, details of which are available online.