Priest’s cash-for-gold plea snubbed

A priest’s well-meaning proposal that the Church sell off gold to help save an under-threat teaching post has gone down like a tonne of lead in his dioceses.

Moyross parish priest Fr Tony O’Riordan had appealed to parishes around the country to sell off “dusty and unused gold” to raise funds for a teaching post at Corpus Christi National School in Co Limerick. The primary school has had to privately hire a teacher after the Department of Education pulled funding a week before the midterm break. However, a diocesan spokesman said last night that the Department of Education “has sole responsibility for funding of teaching posts in schools”.

The spokesman said parish pastoral councils “are encouraged to, and do typically, support their schools through a variety of measures”.

“However, we are not aware of any situation where Church artefacts have been sold to help fund teaching posts, which is, again, the preserve of the department,” the spokesman said.

In any event, he added, “few parishes would have items ... of the order that would fund a teaching post for anything other than the short term”.

Even if there were hidden gems, any decisions regarding the future use of such items “would have to consider also the intentions of families who would typically have donated them”, the spokesman concluded.


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