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01st Jul 2021

Priest who said he would defy communion and confirmation advice forced to cancel confirmations

Clara Kelly

“There is no common sense here.”

Fr Michael Toomey who said on Wednesday that he would defy the “off the cuff” advice that Communions and Confirmations need to be postponed, has confirmed that he has cancelled the planned religious events at his parish.

The administrator of the parishes of Ardfinnan, Ballybacon and Grange, and Newcastle and regular celebrant of the RTÉ weekday Mass said on Wednesday that he would still be going ahead with planned religious events until his “Bishop advises otherwise”.

However, the priest has now confirmed that he has been forced to call off the events after a meeting with Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan who leads the diocese of Waterford and Lismore where the parishes are located.

He added that there had been “no clarity” by Government, saying that he believes concerns surroundings gatherings after the ceremonies are unfounded as many families have told him that they still intend to go ahead with the socially distanced celebrations.

“There is no common sense here,” he said on Ireland AM on Thursday.

The two confirmations planned for the parish which were set to take place next week have now been called off. He added that Communions have already been postponed to September, however, he is aware that a number of parishes have them planned for the coming weeks.

He said yesterday that he would be defying the advice as he believed the statement “by the Tanaiste was off the cuff” adding that “there is no directive on”

However, he added that the website has since been updated to reflect current public health advice on the matter.