Anniversary of papal visit marked across State


Celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the Pope's visit to Ireland drew to a close today with a national event in Cork city.

The papal visit has been commemorated in cathedrals throughout the country over the last four days with pilgrims travelling across Ireland to celebrate together.

More than a million people, around a third of the population, watched Pope John Paul II celebrate Mass in Phoenix Park, Dublin, during his two-and-a-half day visit to Ireland in September 1979.

He undertook a hectic schedule, addressing large crowds in Dublin, Drogheda, Clonmacnoise, Galway, Knock Maynooth and Limerick.

In the second of two national events this week, mass was taken by Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube from the Republic of Zimbabwe at the Holy Spirit Church in Cork city this morning.

An open air mass was also held at the Ballybrit Racecourse, Galway. The pontiff's mass in the city in 1979 was held especially for young people and attracted a crowd of 250,000.

To mark the anniversary, audio of all five speeches made by the Pope in Ireland have been made available online at

A spokesman from the Catholic Communications Office said: "Pope John Paul II is much-loved. Irish people look back very fondly to those three days in 1979.

"His visit generated huge interest and there have been various events all over the country to commemorate the event." 

The Pope is due to return to Ireland next year.