Pope's visit

  • Irish Rail is advising those travelling to Dublin for the Pope's visit next month that train seats must be booked in advance.

    There will be no access to trains on Sunday 26th August without a ticket or reservation.

    Irish Rail says train tickets will not be available for sale on Sunday 26th August, and only passengers with tickets or reservations will be allowed access the Intercity trains.

    This applies to regular services and extra trains which will operate on a number of routes, including the Mayo, Galway and Sligo rail lines.

    Train passengers must travel on the train they book - due to high demand, there is no flexibilty to change to other services.

    Trains on that date will have unallocated seating, and passengers should take any available seat.

    Up to half a million people will travel to Phoenix Park where the Pope will celebrate Mass on 26th August, following a brief visit to Knock Shrine.

    Irish Rail says this is the large single event the country has hosted since Pope John Paul II visited in 1979, and customers need to book intercity trains in advance to ensure all can travel to the event in comfort.

    Iarnrod Eireann says there are also limited services from Westport, Ballina and Athlone to Claremorris for the Knock Shrine event on the same date - including a bus transfer to and from Knock.


    Irish Rail is advising people travelling by train to see Pope Francis in Knock that seats must be booked in advance.

    Extra train services will operate on Sunday week next from Westport, Ballina and Athlone to Claremorris train station with a free bus transfer to and from Knock Shrine.

    Meanwhile, people travelling to see Pope Francis in the Phoenix Park in Dublin are being advised to book their tickets quickly as some services are already sold out.

    One train is already sold out on the Westport to Dublin line and one train on the Galway to Dublin line, and intending passengers are advised there's limited availability on other services, which should be booked as soon as possible.

    There's still availability on the Sligo-Dublin service also.

    Trains from Kerry and Waterford are already sold out

    Irish Rail says advance booking is mandatory for all Intercity trains and no tickets will be available on the day.

  • Irish Rail is advising pilgrims travelling to see Pope Francis in Knock on Sunday to book their train seats as soon as possible, as availability is becoming limited.

    Seats are still available from Westport, Ballina and Athlone to Claremorris train station, and a shuttle bus will operate from the station to Knock Shrine.

    However, passengers travelling from Mayo to the Papal Mass in Phoenix Park are advised that all trains from Mayo to Dublin on Sunday morning are now sold out.


    Bus Eireann says there's limited availability remaining on special inter-city services for the visit of Pope Francis this weekend.

    Customers are urged to buy tickets online as soon as possible, as bookings will close on Friday afternoon.

    Bus Eireann is operating a number of special Expressway Intercity services to and from both Knock and Dublin City on Sunday, to facilitate extra demand.

    An extra bus on route 64 leaves Galway at 6am Sunday morning, stopping in Tuam and 6.32 and Ballyhaunis at 7.10am.

    An extra service leaves Sligo at 6am Sunday morning, stopping in Tubbercurry at 6.35 and Charlestown at 6.45.

    All return services will depart from Knock at 1pm.

    Tickets for these buses must be purchased in advance on www.buseireann.ie/popeinireland

    For those attending the Papal Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park, extra buses are operating on Route 22 from Ballina, Swinford and Charlestown, Route 23 from Sligo, Boyle and Carrick-on-Shannon and Route X20 from Galway servicing Loughrea, Ballinasloe and Athlone.

    Again customers are advised to buy their tickets as soon as possible.

    All return services from Dublin will leave from Busáras at 7pm Sunday evening.

  • The forthcoming Papal visit to Knock Shrine is expected to provide a financial boost for the region, with hotels, restaurants and shops among the businesses expecting a surge in demand.

    As pilgrims are being urged to take public transport, one Mayo-based coach company is completely booked out to provide transport for people travelling to see Pope Francis in both Knock and Dublin.

    Corduff Travel was started in Rossport in north Mayo in 1940 with one bus.

    Almost 80 years later, the family-run business employs 62 people, and will be providing over 70 buses next week for pilgrims travelling to Papal events in Dublin and Knock.

    Michael Corduff has been speaking with MidwestNews about their preparations ahead of the Papal visit...more on our lunchtime news

  • Mayo County Council is urging those travelling to Knock Shrine on Sunday week next, for the Pope's visit, to follow the Ten Commandments of Road Safety.

    45,000 people are expected to gather at the Marian Shrine in Knock on Sunday 26th August for the visit of Pope Francis.

    Pilgrims are being urged to use public transport to travel to the event, or - if this is not feasible - to share cars with friends or neighbours.

    Mayo Road Safety Officer Noel Gibbons says, due to the early start that morning, those driving to Knock will be on the road before daybreak so should ensure that their lights are working and properly adjusted, and that the driver's body clock is adjusted, which might mean a quick coffee break to keep themselves alert on the road.

    The ten commandments of road safety include not exceeding the speed limit, not drinking & driving, not using mobile phones, wearing seatbelts, taking safety breaks every two hours, being courteous towards other road users, remembering to signal, maintaining a 2-second following distance, being mindful of pedestrians and cyclists,  and honouring the traffic laws.

    Gardai are reminding pilgrims that Knock village will be closed to traffic from 6pm the previous evening, while the N17 between Charlestown and Claremorris will be closed from midnight Saturday night till at least 3pm Sunday.



  • With the visit of Pope Francis imminent, Tommy Marren talked to two of the main men involved in the event - Fr Richard Gibbons, Parish Priest of Knock, and Supt. Tom Calvey from Claremorris Garda Station, dropped into studio to give an outline of everything that is happening this weekend as the Pontiff visits Mayo and answer listeners questions about the event. Listen back now.

  • The World Meeting of Families gets underway in Dublin today.

    Last night, bells rang out in all 26 dioceses across the country to mark the start of the event.

    It begins with a three day pastoral congress at Dublin's RDS which includes discussions, workshops and prayerful activities.

    The event will conclude with the 2-day visit of Pope Francis this weekend.

    Meawhile, with 45,000 tickets issued to see the Pope at Knock Shrine on Sunday morning,  management at the Shrine are asking those who have tickets and are not planning to use them to pass them onto others - such as friends, neighbours or people in their parish.

    As thousands of people across the country were not able to secure tickets, management say it would be greatly appreciated if available tickets are passed onto others who would use them.