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Donegal priest suspends sign of peace at Masses in his parish to counter flu infection

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Donegal priest suspends sign of peace at Masses in his parish to counter flu infection

A parish in Donegal has suspended the customary shaking of hands sign of peace at Masses this weekend in response to the increasing numbers of people suffering from the flu virus.

Fr Cathal O Fearrai, PP of Kilbarron Parish in Ballyshannon told the Democrat that the traditional shaking of hands was being "suspended until the risk of infection is significantly reduced".

Fr O Fearrai said this was not the first time they had made this move and he added that it was a precautionary measure due to the continuing and increasing risk from the deadly infection.

"I think we all have to do what we can to halt the spread of infection and my fellow priests will make the announcement at all Masses in this parish this weekend," he said.

He said they would review the suspension in due course, for now it's a temporary measure.

Asked did he think the suspension might be enforced across the diocese of Raphoe, he said that he wouldn't be surprised if other parishes made that decision, but for now he felt it was something he felt should happen in the Kilbarron Parish.

Meanwhile the traditional shaking of hands has been suspended at all Masses in the diocese of Down and Connor.

A spokesman for the north's largest Catholic diocese last night said the traditional shaking of hands was being "suspended until the risk of infection is significantly reduced".