DOH! A priest left parents and children at a school in Kerry distraught when he implied during a recent visit that Santa Claus wasn’t real.
Retired priest Fr Martin Hegarty was visiting Scoil Mhuire gan Smal in Lixnaw last week to speak to the children about the message of Christmas but he ended up saying a little more than he intended to.
In fact, he insinuated in front of the kids who were made up of fourth, fifth and sixth class that the jolly man doesn’t exist. Not the smartest thing to say to children…
This, as one would expect especially at this time of year, caused a great deal of upset amongst the children, with one bursting into tears immediately.
Staff and parents had to then comfort the children, telling them that Santa does exist and that the priest was simply making the whole thing up.
The incident has caused quite a stir in the local community with the remarks being discussed at a board of management meeting.
Fr Hegarty was said to be deeply embarrassed by the whole thing and told the Kerry’s Eye that he didn’t realise he had caused so much distress.
“I didn’t even know they were upset. A sizeable number of sixth class children had raised their hands to say they’d given up on Santy two years ago.
“According to the statisticians, Irish kids get more presents at Christmas than their European counterparts… So they needn’t worry, the presents will come, whether Santy comes or not.”
And on that cheerful note, we’re off to make our Christmas lists to leave at the bottom of the chimney for the man himself…