PARENTS worrying about the expense of Communion dresses can breath a sigh of relief, with retailer Aldi offering a ‘best value’ price of €24.99.
And and as Communion season starts up, the society of the St Vincent de Paul have urged families not to get themselves into financial ruin as a result of the holy event.
With an Ulster Bank survey from last year suggesting that families spend in the region of €713 on their child’s Communion - and €163 on average on dresses - it does place huge financial strain on them.
Aldi has, in recent days, unveiled a new range of Communion wear, with dresses available for just €24.99 as a one-off ‘special buy’, as well as a range of accessories.
The range is a first for the retailer - which boasts 106 stores in Ireland - and will go on sale this Sunday.
“Celebrating First Communion is a rite of passage that can be an expensive time for families in Ireland, with everything from outfits to food and entertainment to cater for,” said Aldi Ireland’s Group Buying Director, Rob Farrell.
“At Aldi, we’re really excited about offering our customers the opportunity to make huge savings with our €24.99 Communion dresses.
“We guarantee our Communion dresses won’t be beaten on price and provide the best value in Ireland for parents this year,” he said, adding that parents should “get to their local Aldi store early to avail of this fantastic offer”.
Michael Murphy, Mid-West regional president of the St Vincent de Paul, pleaded with parents not to get into debt over Communion.
“It is a time that puts immense pressure on families, and we would always appeal to people that they would be prudent about it,” he said.
“Communion is a very important day in a child’s life, and a very important day for the family, but I would say to people that it is not something you should get into debt for,” he added.
The SVP are currently dealing with the fallout in the city from the recent storms and floods, and the regional president said “in this year, of all years, we would ask people to be prudent”.
“Over the years we have seen people spend foolishly on Communion, and we would ask people to think of it as an important day with a very important spiritual aspect to it and I feel at times that gets lost,” he said.
“There are people out there - some of the major retailers - who do very good offers, it is certainly possible to get a good communion dress at well under €100.
“It is also possible to spend €300 and €400 and we would certainly be very much against that. It is not the dress that is important, it is the occasion, the family aspect of it, so people should be prudent in their spending,” he added.