Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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.

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