Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.33 20 Nov 2020


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A priest who has held masses against public health restrictions has said people are 'intelligent and reasonable', and know how to protect themselves.

Fr PJ Hughes has two churches in Mullahoran, Co Cavan - which he believes are large enough to allow social distancing.

Under level five restrictions, religious services are to be held online.

But Fr Hughes told The Hard Shoulder his doors are open to let people come in.

He said he has catered for people of "between eight some mornings, maybe 50 on a Sunday".

"People are well-informed, people have been tuned in since the very beginning, since March.

"They know that social distancing is important, and they know that the mask and everything else is important.

"People are intelligent and reasonable and they know how to protect themselves".

Asked about the fact that he is breaking health restrictions, he said: "I'm after driving out of the town here, nearby Granard, and I was driving at 100 kilometres an hour and two cars passed me.

"So the law is being broken every day.

"I mean I don't see this as a law for a church that holds 500 people - what is the problem of 15 people going in and all facing the one way, they're not sitting around the table talking, they're not drinking pints, they're not there to buy food - they're there to pray.

"So they're talking to nobody only God, and they go home and mind their own business."

'Why does anybody go anywhere?'

"Our faith means a lot to us, especially when we get older and we know the years are going by."

"So whether you're young or old, it's very important to have a relationship with God".

Fr Hughes disputed that there is risk attached to it.

"What's risky about it?...I can tell you I have faith in God.

"Sure if it's risky to go out the door, why does anybody go anywhere?

"I mean if you go to work today it's risky for everybody that goes out the door.

"What are we talking about - how many people will die of cancer today?

"They eat food, they don't know what they're eating anymore.

"And still people continue to die... that's the way life is but we have to have our relationship with God".

"A blank closure of doors is not fair - all we want is fairness, and all we want is a bit of honest to God respect to practice their religion.

"We're not asking for anything else, and for people who don't want to go let them stay at home."

"But the fear of God is being put into people by so-called health experts - and the reality is that in the health field there's as many people with another opinion as there is with this opinion of restriction".

He also said he would perform a baptism if asked to as "that's what I'm ordained to do."

"If I say no, I'm not doing my job - I might as well be just at home", he added.

'The law is being broken every day'- Priest holding mass despite coronavirus restrictions

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Main image by kisistvan77 from Pixabay 

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