The Bishop of Killaloe has expressed concerns about the number of people gathering outside churches and in cemeteries after funerals.
Bishop Fintan Monahan has spoken to priests and people across the diocese which takes in parts of Tipperary, Clare, Limerick, Laois and Offaly.
He says while it’s a deeply ingrained aspect of our culture to gather and offer condolences to the bereaved family unfortunately due to the coronavirus it is still not safe to do so.
Bishop Monahan says clergy, parish personnel and undertakers have done Trojan work with people in the context of what he describes as these difficult, stressful and sad circumstances which currently sees a limit of 10 people allowed to attend funeral masses.
He is appealing to people to find alternative ways to offer condolences during the pandemic, and for the foreseeable future until vaccination has all of us in a better place. Fintan Monahan suggests perhaps a prayer, a card, a phone call, a letter, a text, a message on social media, lighting a candle at home or in your local church, would be a safer way to offer consolation and support.
Bishop Monahan says his prayers are continually for those who have been affected through illness and bereavement since the pandemic began and is asking us all to look out for each other.