Recession hits communion cash gifts in Ireland

Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:24am EDT
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DUBLIN (Reuters Life!) - Irish Catholic children preparing for their first communion will be getting less in cash gifts this year, a survey has found, as the long-running tradition takes a hit from the recession.

The average amount perceived as being appropriate to give a child making their first communion has fallen in the past 12 months to 37 euros ($50) from 50 euros last year, according to research by Ireland's EBS Building Society.

It is estimated that a child will receive on average more than 300 euros for the occasion, EBS said.

Against the backdrop of recession and rising unemployment in Ireland, it said about two-thirds of those polled believed children will save most of the money that they receive, up from 42 percent last year.

"We are seeing families adapting to the recession in various ways such as encouraging their children to learn how to save some money," Dara Deering, director of membership business at EBS Building Society, said in a statement.

In mainly Catholic Ireland, children usually receive cash from relatives and friends when they make their first communion.

(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Paul Casciato)