Priest on Solo Run with Local Wedding

In a report yesterday titled “two weddings and a funeral”, WexfordToday highlighted plans for a wedding to take place today in Bunclody. More information has come to light in relation to this event.

Following information received last night, WexfordToday can confirm that this wedding in fact took place yesterday, May 18th, in a private dwelling in the Bunclody area.

Local sources say they witnessed a large gathering in the vicinity of a house in Bunclody. They were made aware of this gathering by the playing of loud music, an increased level of activity and an unusually large volume of cars parked in the area of the house. Complaints were made by a number of local residents to Gardaí. Gardaí subsequently attended the scene. Witnesses report that shortly after the Gardaí arrived, crowds dispersed.

This event occurred only 5 days after Gardaí intervened to stop another wedding in the same parish from taking place, as it was against COVID-19 regulations.

According to social media posts, yesterday’s wedding was originally scheduled to take place today. Did the parties involved in the wedding agree to bring forward the event to try avoid Garda intervention?

When contacted for comment, the Diocese of Ferns issued the following statement:

The diocese has been informed that a wedding did occur in a private house in the diocese yesterday.

No prior permission was sought for this wedding from the Diocese of Ferns.

The diocese is speaking with the priest concerned in light of the civil and canonical matters this has raised and also with regard to the duty of care implications involved.

Some further questions raised as a result of this event:

  1. The statement from the diocese makes references to civil and canonical matters that this has raised. Will this wedding be recognised by Church or State?
  2. Will the Priest involved officiate at any more wedding ceremonies before wedding restrictions are officially lifted in phase 4?
  3. Do religious organisations need more clear guidelines in terms of what is and is not permitted? There may be some scenarios were an exception needs to be made with regard to the holding of weddings. For example, if one of the couple was terminally ill. At the time of writing WexfordToday is not aware of any exceptional circumstance which made this wedding a necessity.

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