ARCHIPISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN has expressed concern that anti-mask protesters are abusing Catholicism to make others in society feel unwanted.
Martin issued a statement last night criticizing demonstrators who were part of a group he said tried to overturn his car at Eid al-Adha party in Croke Parkearlier this year.
He was one of a number of religious leaders who delivered speeches at the first celebration of the country’s Muslim festival in July.
A number of anti-mask, anti-Covid restriction demonstrations are taking place in Dublin over the weekend, as well as other counties.
Speaking at Radio Radio 1s Travel time this evening, Martin recalled how he was met by a group of people shouting, shouting, [and] hitting his car when he arrived in Croke Park for the celebration.
Someone saw me, and they immediately then surrounded the car and were hitting it, pushing it, shouting and getting into the street, being quite offensive and violent, he explained.
Martin said he was not concerned about his safety at the time because the guard was present, but expressed concern about how such protests were affecting Muslims and immigrants in Irish society.
He suggested that the demonstrators were very clearly motivated by an extreme right-wing ideology because of their attitudes towards immigrants and people of different faiths.
What bothered me, and why I mentioned it last night, has nothing to do with what happened to me; but there is a trend out there that we should all worry about. We must not tolerate or tolerate religious intolerance, he said.
These people, who are present in all sorts of other events and protests, have a level of negativity and violence and they generate fear and anti-immigration [sentiment], and at the moment we do not need negativity and fear.
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The archbishop also spoke about his decision to issue a statement last night, more than two months after the celebration took place in Croke Park.
I feel I can say something, and I have to say something, he said.
I do not want these people to bring their religion and Catholicism to the other negative sides of our society. People need something very different. I am always afraid of negativity and people who use violence that way
Whoever begins to establish an ideology which diverts people from responsible behavior, they are becoming a danger in society.
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