TDs call for Govt grants for parishes which moved online

TDs call for Govt grants for parishes which moved online

TDs have rallied around a Tipperary priest who questioned why parishes haven’t received financial support from Government despite their direction to move services online.

Fr Michael Toomey PP of Ardfinnan and Newcastle told The Irish Catholic he spent €5,000 setting up webcams to broadcast services to his parishioners in the churches in his parish. He also pays €180 a month to maintain the service.

Mattie McGrath TD of the Tipperary constituency said parishes should be treated like any other business and be eligible to receive State grants.

“They had grants available for business to go online, they were advertising them very heavily, so why shouldn’t the Churches of all denominations get them?” he asked.

“They’ve been denied their religious freedom, they’ve been forced to practice behind closed doors. They should be entitled to apply for those grants as any other business to go online.”


He added: “You’re going to have people jumping up and down about the separation of Church and State… but the State has come and locked up the Church.”

Michael Healy-Rae TD of Kerry said that it seems every other sector of society that needed assistance during the pandemic has received it, but not parishes.

He said: “There is an awful lot of money available for sectoral interests and considering that we are a Catholic country… I don’t see why Government should not do something to assist every parish that needs assistance because a small amount of money might actually make a big difference to a parish and to a community.”