Around 340 boys and girls from the Portlaoise parish are set to receive their Confirmation in O’Moore Park next month.
According to Fr David Vard, who is a priest in Portlaoise, plans are in place for Saturday August 28.
Fr David confirmed the news on a recent episode of the LaoisToday Podcast.
He said: “At the moment, it all goes back to Leo Varadkar’s comment at the end of the most recent government announcement on Covid restrictions when he said ‘confirmations and communions are off’.
“But apparently NPHET came out afterwards and said that they didn’t recommend that so we’ll have to see.
“But anyway we are still hopeful and we have O’Moore Park booked for August 28 and that is still our goal.
“We have told all the parents that the date is provisional because obviously it could change if the government decides otherwise.
“I know there are fears of the parties that can happen after these, but I think we have to have faith and trust in people that they won’t go crazy just because there is a Communion or Confirmation in the house.
“I can do weddings at the moment and have done many throughout the pandemic – so what is the big fear over Communion and Confirmation?”
He also explained how the parish of Portlaoise hopes that the Confirmations will go on the day.
He said: “There was talk of doing it in July but we realised that people may be going away on holidays in that month.
“The idea of O’Moore Park actually came from Kilkenny as they are doing something similar in Nowlan Park
“The bishop is going to come and we are going to make it a really big celebration – but a safe one.
“We aren’t going to fill the stadium. At the moment, the restrictions say that we can have 500 people in an outdoor stadium that sits 5,000 or more.
“O’Moore Park’s stand can hold 7,000 we are told by the GAA so we would need three sittings to do it.
“We have around 340 children, plus parents and a sponsor – so no different to three sittings that would usually take place in the church I suppose.”
The LaoisToday podcast is presented by Portlaoise native Paul Downey and is available wherever you get your podcasts.