All-Ireland Primate: Government revealed First Communion delay in ‘grossly disrespectful’ way

The Republic of Ireland, a country of 4.9 million people, has recorded 272,784 coronavirus cases and 5,000 related deaths as of July 2, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Health authorities believe that Ireland is at the beginning of a fourth wave of COVID-19 driven by the Delta variant first detected in India.

Martin, the 59-year-old archbishop of Armagh, said that he objected to the way the delay was made public.

He noted that Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) Leo Varadkar had told journalists on June 29 that parishes could not proceed with the ceremonies after July 5.

“They’re off, unfortunately,” Varadkar said.

Martin commented: “A journalist’s tweet and the Tánaiste dismissively saying: ‘Oh, they’re off.’ That was how we were told about the change in direction.”

“The manner of communication, in this case, was grossly disrespectful and we are extremely disappointed.”

RTÉ reported that a statement issued on Varadkar’s behalf responded to criticisms of the announcement.

“The Tánaiste is very aware of the importance of these occasions,” the statement said.

“He gave an on-the-record reply to a question at a press conference. It wasn’t an off-the-cuff remark as has been suggested.”

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