Portlaoise's Parish Priest has told parishioners that priests in the Diocese of Leighlin and Kildare have suffered a decrease in their salaries.
In his report published with the Portlaoise Parish Annual accounts, Msgr John Byrne says Portlaoise's parish finances are in a “healthy state” and he thanked parishioners for their generosity.
However, he notes that priests do not benefit directly. He says the priests do not receive any payment from the offertory or development fund collections, which totaled €336,672 last year.
He said the salaries come from special collections taken up at Christmas, Easter, Lenten Stations and October.
Priests agree to equal salaries across the diocese, with any surplus going to the retirement fund.
“Across the dioceses there has been a reduction in the amount collected in priests collections and salaries have taken a 12% decrease. Currently Parish Priests received €1,900 per month and CCs €1,750,” reported Msgr Byrne who thanked people for their support.
Portlaoise Parish Accounts for 2015 show that Parish income rose by more than €20,000 last year to €656,333. The biggest single source of income is the Parish Lotto which took in nearly €171,000 last year, up €10,000 on the previous year.
Nearly €71,000 was earned from the shrines while almost €49,500 was taken in rental income.
On the outgoings, Portlaoise Parish spent just over €301,00 last year which was down €6,000 on 2014.
The biggest cost was wages and salaries at almost €54,000, which was down on 2014. The retired priests fund went up by €1,000 to €3,000.
Another big outgoing is the diocesan levy which rose by more than €3,000 to over €46,700.
Other big ticket costs were: light and heat at €44,232, repairs at €46,490; altar shrine requisites at €41,878 and insurance at €17,903.
Costs went down inseveral areas, but also rose in some spending areas. Accountancy fees were cut from €1,341 to just €258.
A total of €6,681 was spent in a new category of youth and community expenses.