Traveller woman accuses priest of refusing her entry to First Communion mass because of how she was dressed
A video of a Traveller woman accusing a priest of preventing her from attending a First Communion mass because of how she was dressed has been posted online.
The angry woman was attempting to gain entry into Ennistymon in Co Clare and claimed that the priest would not allow her to enter because of her short skirt.
The woman is heard on video accusing the priest of “discrimination big time against the Traveller women”.
She said other female churchgoers were wearing skirts of similar lengths to hers.
“[Traveller women] could not go into the church and enjoy the Communion this morning all because of the parish priest’s behaviour towards the Traveller women this morning,” she said.
“They have every bit as much right to come into the church of Ennistymon.”
In a tirade, the woman said to the priest: “You’re supposed to be a man of cloth, you’re supposed to be the last person on earth to make a scene.”
“This is the crap that you have to put up with from the local parish priest.”
“I’ve a right to be in this church as good as everybody else.”
Two gardai were also seen on the footage, preventing the woman from gaining entry.
In a statement the Parish of Ennistymon said no child and no parent of a participating child was or would be excluded.
The statement said the parish “has a dress-code for participants in liturgical celebrations. The code is not onerous and is not unduly restrictive. It simply recognizes that reasonably modest attire helps create a respectful, generous, joyful atmosphere of worship and prayer in the church, particularly where children are present and involved. The young deserve no less.”
It continued: “The community of Ennistymon, which is ethnically diverse and wonderfully cosmopolitan, is fully aware and respectful of this code for it has always had a profound regard for sacred places and for sacred occasions.”
"On the day of First Holy Communion, the Parish of Ennistymon will continue to put the needs of participating children first. It will continue to ensure, and where necessary insist, that this unique and special Eucharistic celebration gives true worship to God in joy and in generosity.”