By Elizabeth Lee
SCORES of youngsters and their parents were left bereft in Castledermot when
their Holy Communion service was called off at the last minute on Friday
The cancellation of the communion service – which was due to take place on
Saturday in the local church – came when the government ordered the
lockdown of Counties Kildare, Laois and Offaly.
The restrictions also sees the cancellation of more First Communion Masses
next weekend while Confirmation services have also been postponed in the
parish for the next fortnight.
It’s left parents trying to cope with disappointed children while counting the
enormous cost of expensive family celebrations.
Many parents, while they appreciate the importance of the restrictions to tackle
the localised outbreak of the Coronavirus, are annoyed that the First
Communion services were cancelled. They think that an alternative solution
should have been found, such as allowing the children to attend the service in
the church yard.
Holly Murphy, who owns Hallahoise House Bakery in Castledermot, was busy
with orders from local families, both for the weekend’s cancelled services and
the ones that were scheduled for next weekend. She’s seen at first hand how
disappointed and angry parents are at the last-minute cancellation on Friday
“I don’t think it was necessary for the Communion to be cancelled. It was only
a small group of people, with 14 children involved,” Holly told ***The
Nationalist***. “I do understand why the restrictions were introduced but why
wasn’t there a plan B? Considering that we’ve been going through this
pandemic for months and there was always a chance that this could happen,
why weren’t alternative plans made? The way it was handled was wrong. This
is the second time that the Communion has been cancelled. ”
Local Parish Priest Fr Aidan Kieran said that there was no alternative to
cancelling the religious services because of the government guidelines. He said
that there was “no practical way” of holding the Communions or Confirmations
under lockdown conditions because even outdoor gatherings were limited to 15
He added that it was “terrible” for the children and that families were
“disappointed” about the move.
School principal of Scoil Diarmada NS, Jennifer Murphy, said that the
cancellation was “a huge disappointment” for the children.“You’d be upset for them, they’ve been looking forward to it so much, but it
was the right decision. It’s highly unfortunate and it’s very sad but we’re in the
midst of a global crisis here,” she said.