PARENTS at a Limerick primary school have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to change the 2014 Holy Communion date because it clashed with a One Direction concert.
In a ballot of all 30 families whose children in second class are due to receive Holy Communion next year, the overwhelming majority voted to retain the original date of May 24.
Three families, all of whose children had tickets for the One Direction gig in Dublin’s Croke Park on May 24, had asked that the Holy Communion be brought forward by three weeks to May 3.
School authorities decided, in the failure to agree a compromise, that a ballot of all parents on the issue was the fairest option.
Children were sent home with ballot papers on Wednesday evening and today (Thursday) Gaelscoil on Raithin in Dooradoyle confirmed that the result was overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the original Holy Communion date of May 24.
A school meeting on Tuesday night became extremely heated when three families insisted that the date be changed – while other parents became incensed at what one described as the “disrespect shown to the blessed sacrament”.
When it was impossible to agree on the alternative May 3 date the school meeting was ended.
“A lot of parents who had no problem with the date contacted the school subsequently to express their outrage at the (perceived) disrespect shown to the blessed sacrament,” a school source confirmed.
Some parents had no principled objection to a change of date once there was proper justification.
“They just didn’t think a pop concert was a good enough reason,” one relative said.
The controversy erupted after a number of schools in Cork and Dublin previously selected Holy Communion dates to avoid a clash with the sell-out concert series following early representations from both parents and children.
The boy band first played Dublin’s 02 in 2011 as part of the X Factor tour after the finished third in the hit UK talent show.
One Direction will play three gigs in Croke Park from May 23-25 as part of their ‘Where We Are’ tour.
Tickets for the gigs sold out within minutes of going in sale.
The band, which has only been together three years, now has a combined estimated wealth of almost €40m.
They have already topped the US and UK single, album and even best selling book charts.