St James’s hospital staff cross about ‘religious’ emblem on access pass

by Dublin Gazette
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Staff at St James’s Hospital have complained that they’ll be forced to wear passes with a religious emblem on them in order to get to work this weekend.

Senator Lynn Ruane (Ind) received emails from disgruntled staff members over the ‘essential worker passes’ which will be needed to pass Garda cordons in the city, as there is a crucifix design on the Government-issued badge.

Taking to Twitter, Senator Ruane said: “I have been contacted by employees at St James’s Hospital who are disgusted that they are required to wear a badge with a crucifix on it.

“They were told they can’t go to work without it. We have such a diverse workforce in hospitals of varying religions and none. Disrespectful.

“The pass should not have religious symbols. [It] could have simply said Pope Francis International Event. So many have been hurt by the church.

“The church’s symbols shouldn’t be a necessity for them to enter their work place.”

A representative from the OPW has said the cross on the pass is a “geographical indicator” to symbolise what area an “essential worker has access to”.

They added: “Essential workers have been issued a pass to enable them to access the controlled zone during the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.

“Passes bear a geographical indicator which signifies which controlled zone the essential worker has access to. 

“The pass in question … shows an image of … the Papal Cross which represents the closing event taking place in the Phoenix Park on Sunday, August 26.

“Passes were issued to the designated authorising officer across all relevant organisations who was responsible for ensuring that the appropriate staff received a pass.”

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