A local parish priest has said priests should be entitled to the Covid-19 payment.
Fr Éamonn Ó Gallachóir, parish priest in Kilcar, said that priests should be entitled to the state payment of €350.
He said younger priests in particular who wouldn’t have much money, and that the crisis was bringing people back to the Church and to faith.
He was interviewed today on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
He said younger priests who are not entitled to a pension, should be eligible for the €350 state payment, as the parishes now have no income to pay them.
Priests are not currently eligible for the payment.
Fr Ó Gallachóir said “Young priests are suffering the most, for the likes of me, I get a pension, so I’m fine from that point of view. But younger priests that now have no regular income, this must be very difficult for them.”
“Anyone of pensionable age, they’re not entitled to it (the payment) and I fully accept that, but the young priests, they should be entitled to it, because there’s no money in the parishes to pay them.”
He said that people were now turning to faith, and getting solace from prayer.
“When you’re in dire straits, I think you stop and think that maybe only God has the answers to this, to the crisis. People are putting faith in God, there’s not much else that can be done … people are getting solace from prayer.
“I’ve been a priest for over 40 years, and there was a huge decline in that time in faith. I hope this crisis will bring people a bit closer to God. If that happens, it’s a good thing. There’s so much pain and worry in the country at the moment … it’s a unique time. “
Fr Éamonn Ó Gallachóir was interviewed on Friday on the Barrscéalta programme on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.