Irish people, Stand up for your Faith, Culture, and Country, Gardai taking Car Numbers, outside, a Catholic Church, like the Gestapo, Fr Hughes, you are a Light, amid Darkness. Gardai will not Dare, take Numbers, outside, a Muslim Mosque, they would not Dare? You wont find a Catholic Building, in Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan, not a Fucking Chance. Stand up, and Hold on, to our Identity?

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Priest begs judge to ‘see common sense’ and not jail couple

– 6h ago

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Apriest has urged a judge to see ‘common sense’ as a couple face prison for refusing to pay a €300 fine for breaching COVID rules.

Retired firefighter Jim Ryan, 64, and his wife Anne, 59, from Roscommon, say they would rather go to jail than pay their fine for travelling 70km to attend Mass on Palm Sunday last year.

The 5km travel restriction was in place at the time as the Government continued its efforts to stop the post-Christmas surge in cases.

© Provided by Extra.ieA priest has urged a judge to see ‘common sense’ as a couple face prison for refusing to pay a €300 fine for breaching COVID rules. Pic: Michael Chester

The couple were convicted by Judge Raymond Finnegan at Cavan District Court but immediately appealed the decision in a bid to get the case overturned.

According to Fr PJ Hughes, they decided to make the long journey to his church on March 28, 2021, as he was the only known priest officiating a Mass that day.

At the time, the parish priest of Mullahoran and Loughduff in Co Cavan was knowingly defying the Level 5 restrictions. He told the Irish Daily Mail: ‘This has dragged on much too long.

© Provided by Extra.ieFr PJ Hughes, parish priest of Mullahoran and Lough Duff, outside Our Lady’s of Lourdes Church in Mullahoran. Pic: Michael Chester

‘Jim and Ann had a constitutional right to travel and didn’t commit a crime. They weren’t out selling drugs or robbing houses, they were just coming to pray.

He said: ‘The saddest thing about it all was that it occurred on Palm Sunday, one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.

‘I would appeal for the judge to use his discretion and a bit of common sense when considering the appeal because this is a genuine, ordinary couple who did not do anything seriously wrong.’

Mr and Mrs Ryan, a devout Catholic couple from Donamon, Roscommon, had previously attempted to attend Mass closer to home but were turned away by a priest who was recording a livestream service in an empty church.

© Provided by Extra.ieThe 5km travel restriction was in place at the time as the Government continued its efforts to stop the post-Christmas surge in cases. Pic: Shutterstock

But on Palm Sunday, they were determined to attend Fr Hughes’ service but encountered two Garda checkpoints on the way.

As the couple were stopped for a second time by Garda Barry Mulligan, they were issued with a Fixed Charge Penalty Notice for being more than 5km from their home.

Nevertheless, they continued their trek to Our Lady of Lourdes church in Cavan and attended the Mass with about 20 other worshippers inside.

Afterwards, they saw gardaí outside taking a note of registration plates.

© Provided by Extra.ieThe couple were convicted by Judge Raymond Finnegan at Cavan District Court but immediately appealed the decision in a bid to get the case overturned. Pic: Shutterstock

Fr Hughes claimed the couple’s human rights were taken away from them. He said: ‘This happened because of the whole attitude from the leadership of this country,’ he continued.

‘How come a retirement party can take place in RTÉ without those in attendance being dragged through the courts?

‘How can the former Children’s Minister have a gathering with numerous other TDs present and manage to evade any fines?

‘We need to realise that we’re living in a free country and have a constitution which gives us the right to go to Mass and pray if we want to.’

© Provided by Extra.ieMr and Mrs Ryan, a devout Catholic couple from Donamon, Roscommon, had previously attempted to attend Mass closer to home but were turned away by a priest who was recording a livestream service in an empty church. Pic: Shutterstock

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast on Tuesday, Jim Ryan said he has no intention of paying the fine.

He said: ‘The most important thing to me in this world is to be in the presence of Jesus.

‘A Mass online has its place, I’m not denying that. When you are at Mass you are in the physical presence of Jesus.

‘To me, there is nothing more important for my soul than to be in the presence of Jesus and to receive Jesus’ body.’

He said he is honouring Jesus by choosing jail over payment of the fine.

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