Parents of children making their First Communion in Stewartstown were said to be ‘annoyed’ and ‘distressed’ after one of the fathers turned up wearing a blue suit with socks and sandals to match, ruining hundreds of photographs by being in the background.
Johnny Maguire (55), whose youngest daughter Maeve was making her First Communion, admitted he may have gauged the vibe incorrectly after reading a load of fashion magazines in the run up to the big occasion:
“Yeah I think I got it wrong. This is my 6th child making their communion and I thought I’d show I was still fairly with it in the fashion stakes. Unfortunately the magazine I was reading was a 1977 copy of the Lurgan Times. I can only apologise for the hurt and pain I caused others this morning.”
Mother of nine, Mary Devlin, refused to accept Maguire’s apology, fuming that he ruined every photo she took that day by standing in the background in his socks and sandals. casually talking to people.
“This isn’t the first time Maguire did something like this. At the previous Communion, he wore a tie that went the whole way down to his knees. Pure ridiculous looking. Ruined all the photos then too. He does this on purpose.”
Maguire has promised not to attend any more religious functions.
St Michael’s Church in Strabane is currently being fumigated after 14 people fainted, including the priest, due to intense fake tan fumes from mothers, daughters and allegedly one father celebrating the First Communion service in the town.
Fr Dunghan, who is known for his strong stomach, was seen wobbling during communion as the young girls lined up and finally keeled over after the 4th mother arrived to receive the holy bread. It was subsequently confirmed that another 13 men had fainted, who had previously been considered just sleeping.
Pianist Marjorie McLaughlin admitted she was finding it hard to read the music due to the intense smell:
“My eyes were running and all. And the stench was like a byre during the winter. What’s wrong with these people? There was one mother who wasn’t wearing any fake tan and she wasn’t allowed in the group photo until she went into the toilet and rubbed a handful of soil around her face to take the bad look off it.”
One young first communion celebrant was seen in tears after the service as her Tesco Fake Tan gave way during a sudden deluge of hailstones outside, leaving her dress orange and white and resulting in cruel taunts of ‘you’re from Armagh’ from her classmates.
Fr Dunghan, who is currently recovering with his maid, has urged local politicians to ban fake tan in Strabane unless it’s an open-air event:
“Holy smokes, it’s just not on. The lipstick and blusher I accept. In fact it can do wonders for a few of my parishioners. But this tan business has to stop or I’m leaving the vocation and taking up selling pallets or water filters with my trusty maid.”
Meanwhile, a father who was accused of also wearing fake tan at the service has denied the accusation, urging people to accept the fact that he’s just a car mechanic.
The Tyrone Clergy Committee (TCC) have passed a motion to claim 10% of every child’s money after celebrating their First Communion from 2015.
In what they are claiming is a ‘display of mercy’ they have moved to lower the percentage to 8% for any child who receives over £200. A dry run will be attempted in Loughmacrory next weekend with P4 teachers informing parents tomorrow morning.
TCC spokesman Fr Molloy explained the decision:
“We think it’s a fair call. Priests were dejected at seeing children walking about with wads of cash in their back pockets and flaunting their wealth in the faces of those who run the whole show. We were getting £10 in an envelope from schools, far less than 10% of one child’s takings. It was sickening. This way it’s a fair deal and if a priest gives First Communion to 20 children he can expect to pocket around £400 for himself. The morning after communion, we will call at the homes of each child and ask their parents for what we are calling ‘communion tax’.”
Loughmacrory parent Leo McBrien predicts an outbreak of lies next week if the proposal goes ahead.
“I can tell you now, if Fr Shannon calls at my house next Sunday and asks how much our Paul got for his communion I’ll be lying, like. £10 I’ll say and hand him a pound. How will he know? And sure I can go to confession later on in the week and clear the air with the Lord. Win win.”
Fr Molloy hopes the 8% tax break for the more financially successful children will see a rise in generosity in parishes but warns against parents begging for donations in order to break the £200 barrier. “They’d have some neck on them to be at that lark” added Molloy.