The Taoiseach says he'll consider a request from leaders of the Catholic Church to allow public worship resume during Lent.

The issue was raised at a meeting yesterday, with the church emphasising the particular importance of a return during Holy Week and Easter.

Micheal Martin met with the Archbishop's Eamon Martin, Dermot Farrell, Kieran O'Reilly and Michael Neary yesterday to discuss the current level of Covid-19 restrictions and the Church's desire for the return of public worship.

The church leaders shared their concerns that life at present isĀ  particularly stressful and difficult for people to endure, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

They asked public worship resume when an easing of restrictions is considered and expressed a strong desire for people to be able to gather safely for the ceremonies of Holy Week and Easter.

The issue of funerals was also highlighted.

10 people are currently able to attend under current restrictions, and the church leaders asked for this to be increased.

The Taoiseach acknowledged the importance of the Church at this time but outlined the ongoing concerns regarding the spread of the virus, particularly the new variants, stressing that any increase at all in mobility can have serious consequences for public health and put pressure on the health service.

It was agreed to maintain dialogue as the situation evolves.

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