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Two Dublin 8 Cathedrals offer their services as mass Covid-19 vaccination centres

St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral have proposed that their grounds can be used as vaccination hubs.

The Government published its vaccination roll-out plan in December. It suggested that mass vaccinations centres will be needed once the availability of vaccines increases.

“We were acutely aware of the need in the locality for large open-plan buildings as the Government’s vaccination plan ramps up,” Gavan Woods, the administrator of St Patrick’s Cathedral, told the Liberty.

“We received Government funding for the restoration of the cathedral roof as our revenue has been severely hit from the pandemic,” Woods said. “We rely on overseas tourism to fund our charitable aims and maintenance of our grounds and cathedral.”

The cathedral recently received €1 million from the Government for structural repairs to its main roof.

“Our Dean, William Norton, thought as we have received some funding, we have to give something back, so we offered the cathedral to the Minister of Health Simon Donnelly, should they wish to use it as centre for mass vaccinations for the local people,” Woods said.

Woods acknowledged that the cathedral may not be suitable for a vaccination hub but felt it was important to offer their services for the people of Dublin 8.

Susanne Reid, cathedral administrator of Christ Church, confirmed to The Liberty via email that their grounds were also offered as a mass vaccination centre.

“In January 2021 I wrote to the HSE at the request of the Very Revd Dermot Dunne, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral Dublin.  We invited the HSE to consider using the cathedral as a vaccination centre.”

In a statement reported by IrishCentral.ie, Reverend Dermot Dean, who is dean of Christ Church, said: “Christ Church holds a central position in Dublin at the top of Dame Street and proves to be a major focal point in the city with adequate space in the nave and crypt for the purposes.”

The HSE confirmed it was investigating a number of locations as mass vaccination hubs.

“Mass vaccination centres will be used when the availability of vaccines is increased,” a HSE spokesperson said. “The standing up of these centres will be dependent on vaccine supply and workforce availability. A number of third party facilities are being investigated which include hotels, convention centres, sports halls, third level colleges and racecourses.”

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