There has been a strong reaction locally to the decision by the Government to cease the clothing allowance commonly known as the Communion and Confirmation grant.
Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton announced the measure last week.
In 2011 the Government paid more than €3.4 million in communion and confirmation grants to over 14,000 families, while in 2012 payments were cut back to €1.5 million for 12,500 families. The grant payment could be up to €300, while people in many counties were unaware of the grant.
On Friday, the Dundalk Democrat asked our friends on Facebook for their opinions on the measure and the reaction was strongly mixed.
Sarah Malone said: “I agree that needy families should recieve help but not in the form of cash payments, they should get vouchers for shops to buy the dress or suit from.”
John Fee said : “Religious events shouldn’t be state funded they are a personal event. Other religious/non religious groups pay taxes too.”
Tom Clarke said: “Wait a minute, there’s a grant for these?”
Ro Curtis said: “Might teach the parents to make it about the actual communion instead of the big shindig after it. There is no excuse to be spending a fortune on this day. Ive seen dresses in TK Maxx for €30 that were gorgeous.”
Meanwhile Rose Murray said: “Communion is suppose to be a special day, shouldn’t all be about money. I’ve seen women and their daughters laugh at other girls over their communion dress. It’s not really the child looking at the price tag or what designer it came from, it’s the parents. It’s all about keeping up with the Jones.”
If you would like to see more of the reaction to this story on Facebook, ‘like’ the Dundalk Democrat Facebook page today.