Pope Francis


    Management at Ireland West Airport Knock say they're delighted and honoured with yesterday's confirmation from the Vatican that Pope Francis will fly into and out of the airport as part of his visit to Knock Shrine in August.

    On Sunday 26th August, the Pope will fly into Knock Airport on a specially-chartered Aer Lingus flight from Dublin, and will travel by motorcade along the N17 to Knock village, returning to Dublin from Knock later that morning.

    It was after the first-ever Papal visit to Ireland in 1979, when Pope John Paul II visited Knock Shrine, that Monsignor Horan began his campaign to build an international airport in Mayo, and over 30 years after it opened, Knock is now the fourth-busiest airport in the country with up to 800,000 passengers expected to use the airport this year.

    Managing Director of Ireland West Airport Knock Joe Gilmore told Midwest News that it's a fitting tribute to Monsignor Horan's legacy that the airport will welcome Pope Francis in August.

    Meanwhile, people hoping to see the Pope in Knock on 26th August will have to apply online for tickets.

    45,000-50,000 tickets will be issued for the Knock event and 500,000 for the Pope's Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park, and tickets go on general release on 25th June.

    Patrons can register on www.worldmeeting2018.ie


  • The Cathaoirleach of Mayo couynty council Richard Finn was among the many Mayo people who wrote to Pope Francis to extend an invitation to him, to visit Knock on his planned visit to Ireland in August for the World Meeting of Families.

    At yesterday’s monthly meeting of Mayo county council the Cathaoirleach welcomed the news that Pope Francis will visit the Marian Shrine on August 26th and said that it was wonderful news too that he will be travelling through Ireland West Airport Knock.

    Earlier this year, Cathaoirleach  Finn had requested that 100,000 euro in funding be set aside by Mayo county council as a contingency fund should Pope Francis visit the Municipal District area of Claremorris. That money is now in place.

    Richard Finn told Midwest News that the councillors are proud to host Pope Francis in their Municipal District.

  • Mayo county council has 100,000 euro set aside in the event that the Pope does visit Knock this year.

    That was confirmed by council management at the Claremorris Municipal District earlier this week.

    Ballyhaunis based councillor John Cribben had asked if the authority was prepared for such an occasion.

    He was told that the monies and planning was in place.

  • It's been confirmed that Pope Francis will visit Knock during his 2-day trip to Ireland in August.

    Details of the Pontiff's visit here have been confirmed by the Vatican and the Irish Bishops' Conference.

    The purpose of the Pope's trip to Ireland is to attend the World Meeting of Families on 25 / 26 August.

    Pope Francis will fly from Rome to Dublin on Saturday morning 25th August, arriving in Dublin at 10.30.

    His first stop is a visit to President Michael D Higgins at Aras an Uachtarain, and he will then visit Dublin Castle, the Pro-Cathedral and the Capuchin Day Centre for the Homeless before arriving at Croke Park on the Saturday evening for the Feast of Families.

    On Sunday 26th August, Pope Francis will fly from Dublin to Ireland West Airport Knock, arriving at 9.20 am and he will travel onto Knock Shrine for a one hour visit, arriving at 9.45 where he will be driven around the Shrine in the Popemobile, and will have time for private prayers in the Apparition Chapel before saying the Angelus on the square in front of the shrine.

    At 10.45, the Pope leaves Knock Shrine to travel back to Knock Airport and depart for Dublin, where he arrives at the Phoenix Park to celebrate Mass at 3pm.

    The Pope will meet with the Irish Bishops in Dublin on the Sunday evening before departing from Dublin Airport for Rome.

    The Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary has welcomed confirmation of the Pope's visit to Knock Shrine, where the World Meeting of Families icon was launched last August.

  • Pope Francis hopes to begin his historic visit to Ireland in Knock, according to today’s  Irish Independent. Organisers of the pontiff's trip are believed to be exploring the idea of having him fly directly to the west of Ireland rather than Dublin as anticipated.

    When the Pope’s visit to Ireland was officially confirmed some weeks ago, Dublin was the only venue confirmed – Knock was not ruled out – but certainly wasn’t ruled in either.

    This morning Midwest News has contacted Knock Shrine and we were told that they have not been informed of any new developments regarding the Pope’s visit.

    However, according to the paper there has been much speculation about the type of welcome the Pope will receive - but sources say gardaí have concerns that as many as 650,000 people will want to see him in the Phoenix Park on August 26.

    By holding another event at Knock a day earlier they hope to offer an alternative viewing opportunity for people.

    "The Phoenix Park can cope with the crowds once they are inside but getting them safely to and from the Mass would be the problem," a source  has told the paper.

    The Vatican tends to remain tight-lipped about the Pope's itinerary until shortly before he travels to a country.

    It has been confirmed that the first papal visit in nearly 40 years will take place to coincide with the World Meeting of Families in Dublin between August 21-26. Pope Francis (81) is scheduled to take part in a ceremony in Croke Park on August 25, before celebrating Mass in Phoenix Park the following day.

    Well-placed sources involved in logistical planning for the visit have indicated to the Irish Independent, that Knock is now firmly on the agenda. One proposal is for the pontiff to fly directly to Knock Airport, which in itself would be an historic occasion.

    Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass at Knock shrine during his visit in 1979. He described his visit there as "the goal of my journey to Ireland".

    Pope Francis has prayed at a number of Marian shrines while on tours to other countries, including last year when he honoured two children who saw Mary in the Portuguese town of Fátima.

    It is likely that if the Pope flies directly from Rome to Knock, he will then use air transport to get to Dublin in time for a ticketed event in Croke Park.

  • The Parish Priest of Knock is still holding out some hope that Pope Francis will visit the Shrine during this visit to Ireland this Summer.

    It was confirmed last week that the Pope will be in Dublin on 25 and 26th August for the World Meeting of Families.

    Dublin was the only location confirmed in the press statements issued last week, but Fr Richard Gibbons says the Pope’s schedule has not yet been finalised.

    He told Midwest Radio toda  that he’s still hoping that Pope Francis may fit in a visit to Our Lady’s Shrine in Knock but nothing has been confirmed, one way or the other….

  • Knock Shrine insist it has not received any confirmation on Pope Francis visiting Knock this August, despite a report in today’s Irish Daily Mail.

    A headline story in today’s paper reads “Revealed: Pope’s flying visit to Knock”.

    It goes on to say the Pope will journey by helicopter for a morning visit to the Marian Shrine and to celebrate Mass, before returning to Dublin on Sunday for Mass in the Phoenix Park.

    However, despite the detailed breakdown in the paper of the Pope’s itinerary when he visits Ireland on August 25th and 26th for the World Meeting of Families, a spokesperson for Knock Shrine told Midwest News today that they have received no confirmation of Pope Francis visiting Knock.


    The Mayo League has confirmed that it has decided to leave Sunday August 26th free from all football activities, due to the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland.

    In a statement a spokesperson said as the Pope is scheduled to visit Knock and Dublin on Sunday August 26th to give people the opportunity to attend the events.

    All matches scheduled for that weekend will be fixed for Saturday August 25th.

  • A Mayo Senator says she wants every effort made to bring Pope Francis to Mayo when he visits Ireland in August.

    Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin says she would like to see the Pope’s visit extend beyond Dublin and would love to see him at Knock Shrine, especially as it is nearly 40 years since the historic visit of Pope John Paul II.

    Senator Mulherin says it would be a boost for people in the west to see the Pontiff visit Mayo.

    She told Midwest News that she has called on the relevant authorities to do everything in their power to make the visit happen.

  • No one without a ticket will get within two kilometres of the village of Knock on Sunday August 26th when Pope Francis visits the Shrine. That’s the clear message from Garda Superintendent Tom Calvey of Claremorris garda station.

    Speaking to Midwest News he said the public with tickets for the occasion are being encouraged, where possible, to take public transport to the shrine.

    Supt Calvey said generally people who access Knock by public transport will have a lot less walking to do than those who arrive in private cars on Sunday August 26th.

    Irish Rail is expected to increase services to Claremorris on the day and bus transfers will be in place to transport pilgrims to Knock from the station.

    Parish groups are being urged to travel by private mini bus or coach.

    Talks are underway at present between Mayo county council and farmers in the area to establish additional carparking facilities in fields.

    Supt Calvey explains that if ticket holders all travelled by car to Knock, it would require parking for in excess of 20,000 cars. He said 9,600 would take up 28km of hard shoulder to park. Therefore he said the message is, where possible, please use public transport.

     He said there is already an increased garda operation at both the village of Knock and Ireland West Airport Knock, where Pope Francis will arrive on the Sunday morning.

    He said that garda operation will be significantly increased closer to the visit.

    The N17 is expected to be closed to traffic for up to 24 hours around the visit.

    Pope Francis is due to arrive at Ireland West Airport Knock at 9.20am and be in the Church at Knock Shrine about twenty five minutes later . He will leave knock Shrine at 10.45am and will be back at the airport for an 11.10am flight to Dublin and onto the Mass for the World Meeting of Families that will be celebrated in the Phoenix Park in the afternoon.

  • Pope Francis has confirmed he will visit Ireland in August.

    The Pope will attend the World Meeting of Families which takes place from 21-26 August at Croke Park in Dublin.

    The 81-year old pontiff will arrive in Dublin on Saturday 25th August and will celebrate Mass in the Phoenix Park on Sunday 26th August, bringing the World Meeting of Families to a close.

    The Catholic Communications Office says full details of the papal schedule will be released at a later date.

    However, there is no indication at this point that Pope Francis may include a visit to Knock Shrine on his itinerary.


  • Pope Francis will pay a brief visit to the Marian Shrine at Knock as part of his visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families in August, according to a front page story in today’s Irish Times.

    Pope Francis  will fly by plane from Dublin to Knock airport on Sunday August 26th and, it is planned, travel by motorcade the 20-kilometre route along the N17 to Knock shrine.

    There, according to details of his itinerary obtained by The Irish Times, he will say the rosary followed by Angelus at noon in the Apparition Chapel. It is unclear whether he will visit the Basilica.

    Afterwards he will fly back to Dublin for a 3pm Mass in the Phoenix Parkwhere crowds will be limited to 600,000 by Garda and city authorities for health and safety reasons.

    Organisers believe this will be the largest-ever ticketed event in the world. Entry is free.

    Pope Francis will fly back to Rome at about 7pm that Sunday evening, after spending about 36 hours in Ireland on Saturday August 25th and Sunday August 26th. Plans have yet to be agreed on whether he will travel through Dublin  city, possibly in the popemobile.

    On the Saturday, he will visit President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at Áras an Uachtaráin, with a civic reception at Dublin Castle hosted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the afternoon.

    Later that afternoon he will visit Br Kevin Crowley and the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People on Dublin’s Bow Street. He is likely to visit a prison – yet to be finalised – and will meet clerical abuse survivors privately.

    As of now there are no plans for him to visit Northern Ireland.

    The planned visit to Knock is believed to be at Pope Francis’s instigation. He has a particular devotion to Mary and earlier this year instituted a new feast in her honour as Mother of the Church. It is to be celebrated on the first Monday after Pentecost every year, May 21st this year.

  • It is expected that Rome will confirm later today details of Pope Francis visit to Knock this August.

    Confirmation is expected at 11 o’clock this morning in a simultaneous press launch in both the Vatican and Maynooth.

    Midwest Radio expect to have full details of the Pope’s itinerary of the expected visit on Sunday August 26th.

  • The schedule for the Pope's visit to Ireland is due to be confirmed in the coming days.

    Pope Francis will be in Dublin on August 25th and 26th, as part of the World Meeting of Families.

    It's expected he will attend the Festival of Families at Croke Park - and the Closing Mass in the Phoenix Park which will involve hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from Ireland and around the world.

    There is also strong speculation that he will pay a brief visit to Knock.

  • Half a million tickets for the Papal Mass in the Phoenix  Park, similar to the 45,000 tickets for the Pope’s visit to Knock,  are now all booked out

    People from 116 countries are represented in the bookings for the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

    Organisers of the World Meeting of Families last night revealed all 500,000 tickets are booked out for the Mass in August.

    Pope Francis will be the principal celebrant at the service, on what will be the closing mass of WMOF2018.

  • There is said to be strong interest from stamp collectors and others in two stamps issued to mark the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland next month for the World Meeting of Families gathering.

    According to today’s Irish Times, more than 450,000 €1 stamps showing the Pope, and 103,000 €1.50 international stamps, showing a family walking along a beach, will be issued, according to Angus Laverty of An Post.

    First-day covers costing €3.50 will be available on envelopes with special franking marks, and in souvenir packs at main post offices and online.

    More than 350,000 stamps issued to mark Ireland’s hosting of the Eucharistic Congress in 2012 were sold.

    In a tweet, the Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin urged his flock to mark the World Meeting of Families: “Why not post a card and prayer to faraway family members with the new stamps?”

    The ninth World Meeting of Families pastoral congress in Dublin takes place at the RDS from August 22nd to 24th. A Festival of Families is at Croke Park on August 25th.

    All 500,000 tickets for the Mass, as well as the 45,000 tickets for Knock, and the 75,000 tickets  for Croke Park are booked out, as are 37,000 tickets for the pastoral congress in the RDS.

  • The Government Press Office has released information in relation to transport options to both Knock and the Phoenix Park in for the Pope's visit August.

    This is in advance of the ticket registration for Knock and the Phoenix Park going live on Monday next.

    The Government has urged anyone interested in attending either Knock Shrine or the Mass in the Phoenix Park to get a ticket, plan transport and prepare for a long day.

    You need a ticket for the event at the Phoenix Park and you can register for tickets online on the World Meeting of Families 2018 website from Monday. You will receive your ticket closer to the event. You must choose which event you would like to attend – Phoenix Park or Knock, you will not be able to get tickets for both.

    Comprehensive transport information has been published on gov.ie/popeinireland


  • Tickets for the Pope's visit to Knock Shrine were all taken up within minutes of going online this morning.
    There are still tickets available for the Mass in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.
    Fr Richard Gibbons, the PP of Knock Shrine told Midwest Radio that anyone could secure up to eight tickets for Knock if they managed to get online this morning.
    In total there were 45,000 tickets available for the Pope's visit to Knock.
    The Pope will be in Knock on Sunday August 26th.
  • Tickets for the Pope's visit to Knock and Dublin are now available online.

    There are 500,000 tickets for the Phoenix Park where Pope Francis will say Mass, and 45,000 tickets for Knock.

    The tickets can be booked online at worldmeeting2018.ie.

    When booking, people are being invited to make an optional donation to help with the costs of the visit.