Photos show a huge gathering of mourners who descend in a cemetery for a traveller’s funeral despite Covid lockout rules.
A police investigation opened after 300 people arrived in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrum, Ireland for a two-day memorial service for Davey Reilly.
The majority of attendees reportedly arrived in UK and Northern Ireland-registered cars for the funeral on Thursday after a funeral at St Mary’s Church
Irish healthcare provider Paul Reid, who lives in the city, criticized the scenes, reports the Irish mirror.
He said: “The public has taken so many restrictions on board, it has made so many sacrifices, and it is quite demoralizing to see such abuse of public health guidelines and measures, especially for the people of Leitrim who are in this respect have done really well low cases in this Covid. “
Mr. Reid said public health teams have regularly “coached” funeral homes and urged priests to “keep up their industry.”
However, he admitted, “It’s a really difficult time for people at funerals and mourning, it is very difficult at this point.”
The first service was held with a reduced number of people before large crowds arrived for the funeral.
Gardai were forced to turn cars away from the cemetery, but mourners instead gathered on foot in a local parking lot before heading to the cemetery.
A large white marquee had been erected in a house in town the day before the funeral.
Under Ireland’s Level 5 Ineligibility, funeral attendance is limited to only 10 close family members for worship and funeral.
Councilor Enda Stenson said it was the second major traveler funeral to have taken place in Carrick-on-Shannon in recent weeks.
He said, “It is not right that people in a rural part of the country who have been locked up for 12 months should have to deal with this.”
The city council said attendees at such large gatherings “drove over everyone” with guidelines “completely thrown out the window”.
“I have to say the Carrick-on-Shannon travel community has always got on really well here, but today was crazy,” he added.
A police spokesman said: “Gardaí is known to have a funeral that took place on March 10th and 11th, 2021 in Carrick-on-Shannon Co. Leitrim.
“A number of rule violations related to travel have been identified. This process is not yet complete.
“A Garda Síochana has contacted the relevant parties and is not investigating any violations of the ecclesiastical element of this funeral.
“A Garda Síochána will conduct an investigation into the organizers of events that violate public health rules.”
Martin Collins, co-director of Dublin-based Pavee Point Traveler and the Roma Center, said there was “no excuse” to disregard Covid security measures.
He said, “In all honesty, this is just simply not acceptable when someone settles down or the traveler breaks the guidelines.
“As a traveling man, I understand the importance of funerals in our community, but customs and traditions have to take a back seat.”
He added that care must be taken to ensure that these incidents do not “become another stick that travelers are beaten with” and that restriction violations have occurred “in all sectors of society”.