Communion trumps One Direction

18 October 2013

PA

Dedicated: fans arrive for the World Premiere of One Direction: This Is Us, at the Empire Leicester Square, London, in August 

Dedicated: fans arrive for the World Premiere of One Direction: This Is Us, at the Empire Leicester Square, London, in August 

ALMOST 50 years after another boyband laid claim to being "more popular than Jesus", a Roman Catholic school in Ireland has decided that, despite clashing with a One Direction concert, the date of its pupils' first holy communion should not be altered.

Pupils in the Second Class (age seven to nine) of Gaelscoil an Ráithín, in Limerick, are due to make their first holy communion on 24 May next year, when One Direction are to perform in Croke Park, in Dublin. Families of pupils with tickets to the concert asked whether the school could change the date.

On Thursday of last week, the school said that all parents had been balloted on the matter: "The result of that ballot has been overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the original date. Staff, parents, and children of Gaelscoil an Ráithín look forward to preparing for this very special celebration next May."

The Belfast Telegraph reported last Friday that, before the ballot, an "extremely heated" meeting had taken place between parents. It reported that a number of schools in Cork and Dublin had selected first-communion dates to avoid a clash with the concerts, which sold out within minutes. Tickets to the concert on 24 May are selling on eBay for up to £1148.

Last year, clergy in the RC Church in Ireland warned of a growing commercialisation of the sacrament, including arrival at the church by stretch limousine, or, in at least one instance, a helicopter (News, 24 February 2012).

Question of the week: One Direction or first communion? 

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