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Court bid to end Covid Mass lockdown

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Businessman Declan Ganley

Businessman Declan Ganley

Businessman Declan Ganley

Businessman Declan Ganley has mounted a legal challenge against Covid-19 regulations preventing him from attending Mass.

Mr Ganley, a practising Roman Catholic, claims that the State's Level 5 restrictions breach his constitutional right to religious freedom.

He claims the measures, which were introduced last month, do allow certain religious activities to take place, including weddings and funerals.

However, he claims the restrictions do not allow him or any other person who wishes to attend Mass or a similar religious service, which he claims is protected under the Irish Constitution. This, he claims, is a breach of his constitutional rights to practise his religion.

Arising out of that he has launched judicial review proceedings against the Minister for Health.

Expire

The matter came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan yesterday who said the proposed challenge related to measures included as part of the government's Level 5 plan to combat the pandemic.

Those particular measures, he said, may expire on December 1, which could render Mr Ganley's action pointless.

The Judge added that there was no likelihood of what is a complex case, if the state respondents choose to challenge it, being heard by the end of the month.

The judge, who directed that the application for permission to bring the challenge be heard on notice to the State, adjourned the matter to December 8 when circumstances can be reassessed.

In reply Mr Ganley's lawyers said the matter was urgent, and argued that similar restrictions regarding attending religious services could be re-imposed in the future.

Neil Steen SC, representing Mr Ganley, said the issue was extremely important for his client.


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