Traveller says she was refused entry into First Communion mass because of her clothes

The Parish of Ennistymon says it ‘has a dress-code for participants in liturgical celebrations’.

A VIDEO OF a Traveller woman accusing a priest of not allowing her into a First Communion mass because of her clothes is gathering a lot of attention online.

The incident happened in Ennistymon in Co Clare but the parish has defended its priest’s actions and dress code.

In the video the woman says, ”The parish priest is after denying us, as Travellers, access into the church on the morning of Holy Communion.”

Speaking to the priest in the video she says:

“You’re after making a scene and embarrassing all the traveller family of Ennistymon this morning that has every bit as much right to come into the church as you have.

You’re after letting settled women of Ennistymon into that church dressed in a lot shorter clothes than any of us have on us here Father.

Traveller Videos / YouTube

In a statement, the Parish of Ennisymon told

Together with many parishes and similar institutions throughout the world, the Parish of Ennistymon has a dress-code for participants in liturgical celebrations.

“The code is not onerous and is not unduly restrictive. It simply recognises that reasonably modest attire helps create a respectful, generous, joyful atmosphere of worship and prayer in the church, particularly where children are present and involved. The young deserve no less.

The community of Ennistymon, which is ethnically diverse and wonderfully cosmopolitan, is fully aware and respectful of this code for it has always had a profound regard for sacred its places and sacred occasions.

It’s understood that the woman who was refused access to the Communion was not a parent of a child receiving their First Communion and that other traveller families did take part in the sacrament.

Martin Collins from Pavee Point told that he believes the priest overreacted:

It seems to be a bit extreme for a parish priest to be refusing any person, regardless of their ethnic background, from a church because of a dress code. It’s bad enough any day but on Holy Communion day in particular.

Photos of the front and back of the dress have also been posted on Facebook.


The woman said, “This dress was more than appropriate and respectful.

“Everybody should be welcome into the house of God…this priest’s behavior is unacceptable in 2015 with this equality law that everybody should be treated equally.”

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