Irish priest hits out at parents who use First Communion as an ‘excuse for a p*ss-up’

Family at kid's First Communion

An Irish priest has hit out at parents who he says treat their child’s First Holy Communion as an excuse for a ‘p*** up’.

Father Paddy Byrne, of Portlaoise, Co Laois, also said that sometimes clerics have to act as ‘bouncers’ on First Holy Communion day as parents have no respect.

He said: “If First Holy Communion is a child’s day, that’s wonderful. But so many parents treat it as a p*** up.

Family at kid's First Communion

“Some parents arrive late like they are walking into Langton’s pub in Kilkenny or the Seven Oaks bar in Carlow.”

He added that he often sees children turning up in hummers and parents using their mobile phones during the ceremony.

He told the Irish Daily Mail: “Some parents find it intolerable to keep off social media for the duration of the Mass, so by the time the sacrament comes they’re on Facebook or whatever.

“We have about 300 children a year making First Holy Communion and we’re lucky if we get 5% back as regular Mass-goers.

“Usually, the next time we see them is for Confirmation, then for their wedding, and then probably their death.”

Fellow priest, Father Tom Little, of Co Carlow had previously encouraged parents to bring their kids to Communion on any Mass day during May or June rather than a designated group date, in order to curb the tendency of what he saw as outlandish celebrations.

However, the parents started a petition to reject Fr Little’s plan as they wanted to save the tradition of a child’s First Communion.

Anne Lennon, who organised the petition said: “I agree with what Fr Paddy says about some parents but that’s not me.”

Fr Little said that wanted parents to regular bring their children to Mass but his intentions had gotten lost in confusion.

He said: ““I would have preferred if parents would have seen this as a work in progress rather than a social media frenzy.”

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Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling