Archbishop of Dublin criticises anti-mask protesters
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Archbishop of Dublin criticises anti-mask protesters

THE ARCHBISHOP of Dublin has criticised anti-mask demonstrators in Irish capital.

Writing in a statement titled ‘Reflections on Lockdown Times’, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin hit out at anti-lockdown protestors who, he claimed, were park of a group that “tried to overturn” his car during the Eid al-Adha celebrations that took place in Croke Park.

Martin said the incident was an example of the way in which humankind had forgotten the importance of human behaviour during this time of crisis.

“This time last year if someone had asked us how you would fight a disastrous global pandemic, very few of us would have placed hand washing and maintaining a safe distance from others at the top of our list,” he began.

Though the Archbishop was full of praise for the generous and quick response of many during the crisis, he added: “it would be wrong, however, not to note the emergence of some negative trends in Irish society”.

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He went on to single out those involved in the anti-mask protests that have taken place in Dublin over the past few weekends, as well as several counties across Ireland.

“When you look at some of the protests against mask-wearing and other restrictive measures, behind outward talk of respecting individual liberties there was also strain of negation of the virus,” he said.

“Some of those who took part in these anti-mask demonstrations were the same groups that attempted to overturn my car when I attended an Islamic gathering in Croke Park.

“There are voices out there who do not understand, or do not want to understand, what religious tolerance means in the Ireland of today and that should concern all of us.”

Martin was one of several religious leaders who spoke at the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha in July of this year.

Roughly 200 people attended the event at Croke Park, while wearing face masks and socially distancing from one another.

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The event began with a recitation from the Quran, followed by a speech from Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration Roderic O'Gorman.