The government should financially support churches this winter with rising energy costs.
That is according to David Quinn, Columnist with the Irish Catholic and Sunday Times, who says churches have been snubbed in the recent budget and excluded from talks about the energy crisis.
He told Lunchtime Live that Ireland should follow other countries in extending once-off supports for churches.
Mr Quinn commended the UK's "carte blanche approach" to the energy crisis, which includes charities and churches.
"[In Ireland] all the energy subsidies recently announced for help with bills, a parish can get something if say meals and wheels operates out of the parish center."
"If the parish centre is being heated up for a secular purpose, then you can apply to the local authority for help. But if it's a religious purpose - you're holding mass, for example - then you're on your own."
It "seems strange" to Mr Quinn that sports organisations are receiving government support to keep floodlights on and changing rooms warm.
Churches in the UK will receive help from the State paying their energy bills this winter. The Irish State is giving the Churches here nothing. The State was also appalling towards churches during the pandemic preventing public worship longer than anywhere else.
— David Quinn (@DavQuinn) October 12, 2022
Mr Quinn sees this as a continuation of separate rules for churches like he saw during the pandemic.
"Churches were not allowed to open their doors to let people in for worship for something like 40 weeks out of 60 and that was the longest out of any place in Europe."
"During the first lockdown, they weren't allowed to open, but then after that they did let them open because they were properly obeying the social distancing rules and keeping numbers limited and making sure everybody's wearing face masks, and all that kind of thing."
The long-term closing of churches also means that parishes lost out on regular donations.
Some might begrudge the Catholic Church the extra funding considering the organisation's controversial history.
However, Mr Quinn believes, especially after the pandemic, parishes need the funds.
"There's no country has been closed for 40 or 60 weeks and that of course meant there was no money being collected."
"They suffered a huge drop in income during that time."
While he concedes that the Catholic Church is "asset rich", most of its assets cannot be liquidated to help with the cost of energy.
"What do you do if you sell off the church building? You don't have anywhere to go to Mass anymore. If you sell off the parish hall, what do you do there? That would be used for all kinds of activities, secular ones as well."
Listen to the full conversation here.
Main image shows St Finbarr's Catholic Church in Bantry, Co Cork, Ireland. Picture by: Karlis Dzjamko/Alamy