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Holy moly Pandemic means kids got less Communion money but still pull in €590 average





THE pandemic has put a damper on Communions this year.

The amount received in cash gifts was down, the ceremony was rescheduled for most children, and a majority of families were forced by the virus to have a more muted celebration.

The average amount of money received was down almost €30 to just shy of €590 compared with last year, according the annual Ulster Bank Communion Survey.

However, this is still considered a lot of money for eight to nine-year-olds.


Last year, children received an average of €617 to mark the occasion, but this year, restrictions on social interactions meant the average received in cash gifts was down to €588.

More than a quarter of respondents who are parents said their child had received less than €200 this year.

This is down from just one in 10 reporting they got €200 or less in 2019.

The survey found that 6pc of parents said their child had received more than €1,000, down from 13pc last year.

Toys, commuter games, clothes and books were the most popular items purchased with the cash gifts.

Half of children have already shared some of their Communion money with their siblings or donated some to charity.

A majority of respondents said some of the money their child received for their Communion will be put into a savings account in the child's own name.

For two in five of those children, it will be their first savings account, up sharply from 2019, when it was just under a quarter.

The survey of parents whose children made their Communion this year was conducted by Empathy Research.

The pandemic played havoc with the timing of most ceremonies, which are normally held in May.

85pc of respondents said their child's Communion was rescheduled to either later this year or next year.

The survey shows celebrations were on a smaller scale this year, as families had to restrict their number of contacts.

The amount of money spent on the day also dropped sharply, from €929 in 2019 to a six-year low of €716.

Despite these changes, many parents said there was a greater focus on the ceremonial aspects of the day this year rather than the celebrations.

Most parents say they spoke to their child about money and how they might spend it.

Almost two thirds of respondents believe their child should be educated in relation to financial planning and what to do with their money ahead of their Communion.

A third of parents said that they themselves should be responsible for educating their child. Ulster Bank's Lisa Slattery, said: "Communion may be the first time that many children end up with a large amount of money so it's the perfect opportunity for parents to teach them the importance of financial planning as a life skill."

Online Editors