Places of worship offered as Covid vaccination centres

A spokesperson for the HSE said it is considering the options when it comes to mass vaccination centres.
Places of worship offered as Covid vaccination centres

St Fin Barre's Cathedral Cork. The Diocese of Cork and Ross said they have previously advised the HSE locally that the diocese will offer whatever support may be appropriate. Picture: Gerard McCarthy 

A number of religious organisations have offered their places of worship as potential vaccination centres, should they be needed.

A spokesperson for The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland offered their premises, in Clonskeagh, Dublin.

“The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland will be delighted to offer the premises for use during this national time of need,” a spokesperson said.

“In particular we host a very large multi-purpose hall with very high ceilings and ample ventilation, heating, and access, with a spacious car park, all that could be of use if determined so by the HSE,” they added.

 Fr. John O’Donovan, Administrator at the Cathedral of St. Mary & St. Anne and PP of Blackpool, The Glen, Ballyvolane, and Sundays Well which he has suggested as temporary Covid-19 vaccination centers.  Picture: Dan Linehan

Fr. John O’Donovan, Administrator at the Cathedral of St. Mary & St. Anne and PP of Blackpool, The Glen, Ballyvolane, and Sundays Well which he has suggested as temporary Covid-19 vaccination centers.  Picture: Dan Linehan

The Diocese of Cork and Ross said they have previously advised the HSE locally that the diocese will offer whatever support may be appropriate in assisting in any way with the HSE’s work in this time of the pandemic.

“Most parish churches continue to be in regular use for live-streaming of masses and for funerals with limited attendance so it may not be practical to have them used as vaccination centres. However, other parish properties such as parish halls may be suitable. The Bishop and the diocese will respond positively to any request for assistance from the HSE should a request be made,” a spokesperson for the Diocese said.

A spokesperson for the HSE said it is considering the options when it comes to mass vaccination centres.

“Mass Vaccination Centres will be used when the availability of vaccines is increased. The standing up of these centres will be dependent on vaccine supply and workforce availability,” a spokesperson said.

A number of third-party facilities are being investigated which include hotels, convention centres, sports halls, third-level colleges, racecourses etc. 

"A number of locations are currently under consideration and will be approved and finalised by the HSE in the coming weeks,” they added.

A spokesperson for the Church of Ireland said they would be open to assisting the HSE, with similar buildings being used in Northern Ireland already.

“Although the Church of Ireland has very few buildings on the scale of Salisbury Cathedral, we would, of course, be open to requests to assist with providing premises for vaccination, provided that any such use would be in line with official public health guidance. Any request would likely be made to an individual parish, which would have discretion regarding how or whether its premises could be used,” they said.

A spokesperson for the Church of Ireland said they would be open to assisting the HSE, with similar buildings being used in Northern Ireland already. Picture Dan Linehan

A spokesperson for the Church of Ireland said they would be open to assisting the HSE, with similar buildings being used in Northern Ireland already. Picture Dan Linehan

It comes as Ireland’s vaccination plan continues to move forward after the Cabinet formally gave its approval to allow GPs and pharmacists administer Covid-19 vaccines.

Neale Richmond TD said using places of worship as vaccination centres is a “no-brainer.” 

“Churches, temples and mosques tend to be large, high-ceiling buildings with multiple entrances, ample parking, bathrooms, light, power and car parking. They are often located in the centre of communities on main roads with public transport nearby,” he said.

“We have seen them used in other countries already and there is a huge opportunity when we move to the mass vaccination stage. Already I have had many religious leaders offering up their place of worship for what will be a massive national effort,” he added.

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