Papal visit

  • This Sunday will be "business as usual" at Ireland West Airport, even though Pope Francis will be touching down at the airport en route to Knock Shrine.

    Airport management say a full schedule of flights will operate on Sunday, and over 5,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport that day.

    However, passengers are being advised to leave plenty of time to arrive at the airport, as road closures and diversions will be in place.


    The main N17 road from Claremorris to Charlestown will be closed from midnight Saturday night until about 3pm Sunday afternoon.

    Diversions will be signposted, and most passengers will be diverted off the N5 at Cloonaghboy or Carracastle, to take the Old Airport Road.

    The access road to the airport will also be closed for a time when the Pope arrives at Knock Airport, and again when he's departing.

  • The Westdoc service will operate as normal as is possible this weekend but there are a few changes as the Knock treatment centre will not be available for periods over the weekend. Westdoc will provide their normal service in Knock up to 6pm on Saturday 25th August.

    After 6pm patients will be seen in Tuam or other centres that is more convenient to the caller.

    On Sunday 26th August Westdoc will operate from Dr Townleys surgery at Ballyhaunis Road, Claremorris, from 8am to 4pm. After 4pm Knock treatment centre will resume normal service.

    All calls will be dealt with and we apologise for any inconvenience caused, during these hours that is out of our control.



  • It's day two of the Pope's trip to Ireland - with half a million people due to attend mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

    The Pontiff will fly to Knock Shrine in Mayo this morning - but the issue of clerical sex abuse is set to dominate the agenda once again.

    Pope Francis spent more than an hour and a half meeting eight survivors of clerical, religious and institutional abuse.

    He told them that those involved in corruption and cover up in the church are filth.

    The Pope apologised for what happened at mother and baby homes - and indicated that he would say more on the issue today.

    Meanwhile the Pontiff arrives in Mayo this morning where he'll visit Knock Shrine and pray the Angelus in front of a crowd of 45 thousand.

    He then makes his way back to the capital where more than half a million are expected to attend mass in the Phoenix Park.

    It will bring an end to a two day trip which has been closely watched around the world.

    Pope Francis leaves Ireland later this evening.

    Meanwhile, traffic is already very heavy on all approach roads this morning and the advice is to take your time and heed the Gardaí and security personnel.

  • A gold medal, marking the 40th anniversary of the visit of Paul John Paul II to Ireland and to Knock was donated today to Knock Shrine.

    The Dublin Mint Office has produced a range of medals to celebrate the anniversary of the historic Papal visit.

    Knock was one of the locations visited by the Pope during the 1979 visit to Ireland - which was the centenary year of the apparitions in Knock Shrine in August 1879.

    Parish Priest of Knock Fr Richard Gibbons told Midwest Radio that he was delighted to accept the medal today on behalf of the Shrine....

  • It has not been confirmed by Rome, and it remains speculation but the Parish Priest of Knock remains hopeful that Pope Francis will visit Knock Shrine this August.

    Despite a front page story in today’s Irish Independent that Pope Francis hopes to begin his historic visit to Ireland this August in Knock, flying in from Rome to Ireland West Airport Knock, Fr Gibbons told Midwest Radio today that there is no new news from Rome. While he remains hopeful that it will happen, he said he had no concrete evidence to say that it will.

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

    Fr Gibbons said while he is hopeful that the Pope will visit the Shrine, a visit has not been confirmed.


    Pope Francis has landed in Ireland.

    The pontiff arrived at Dublin Airport shortly after 10.30 this morning.


    The Pope's plane 'Shepard One' appeared in the Sky over Dublin around a half an hour ago.

    He was greeted by Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and his family.

    Mr Coveney's children welcomed the pontiff to the country saying 'welcome to Ireland' in Irish, English and Spanish.

    The tricolour and the vatican flag flew in front of the plane as it pulled up and the Pope greeted senior church officials.

    His next stop is a meeting with President Michael D Higgins in Phoenix Park where he'll celebrate mass tomorrow.

    A family of Syrian asylum seekers will attend the tree planting ceremony in Áras an U

  • 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.

  • There will be up to 1100 volunteers working at Knock Shrine for the Papal visit on Sunday August 26th.

    That figure, which includes youth volunteers, hand maids and stewards  has been confirmed by the Parish Priest of Knock Fr Richard Gibbons.

  • Today marks the 40th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Knock Shrine.

    On 30th September 1979, the Papal helicopter touched down in Knock shortly after 3.30pm, after the Pope had addressed hundreds of thousands of young people at Ballybrit racecourse in Galway.

    Some 400,000 people gathered at the Marian Shrine in Knock, which Pope John Paul II said was "the goal of his visit to Ireland".

    To mark the occasion, film and video footage of the Papal visit is being shown throughout the day today at Knock Museum, where visitors can also read through newspaper coverage of the Pope's visit.

  • Survivors and relatives of infants from the Tuam Mother and Baby Home say are standing together for the sake of the babies that have been buried in a sewage tank in Tuam, and are planning a vigil to coincide with the Pope’s Mass in Dublin.

    The vigil will take place in Tuam on Sunday week, to coincide with the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park.

    Historian Catherine Corless will join relatives at the vigil.

    Ms Corless traced the death certificates for 796 infants at the former home in Tuam.

    The State’s Commission of Investigation confirmed in March 2017 that it had discovered significant quantities of infant bone at the Tuam site.

    Ms Corless and members of the Tuam Babies Family Group will light candles and place a special sculpture made by Flemish women in the shape of a baptismal font at the grave site of the former Bon Secours home.

    They will also read out the names of those who are believed to have been buried there.

    The event has been timed to coincide with the Pope’s Mass in Dublin.