About 20,000 tickets left to see Pope Francis in Phoenix Park
There are currently no plans to make extra tickets available for Knock visit
Pope Francis delivers his speech to the crowd from the window of the apostolic palace overlooking St Peter’s Square on Sunday. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images
All tickets for other events in Ireland he will take part in on August 25th and 26th are gone.
So too are all tickets for the World Meeting of Families pastoral congress at the RDS on August 22nd, 23rd, and 24th next.
Brenda Drumm, media and communications manager for World Meeting of Families 2018, said request for tickets for all the events “has been overwhelming by any standards”.
“Within a 48 hour period almost 400,000 tickets for Phoenix Park alone have been booked. Bookings for Phoenix Park this morning are at 480,000 meaning we have just 20,000 tickets left.”
They are available at www.worldmeeting2018.ie/en/Tickets/Closing-Mass-ticket-only
Ms Drumm said she was aware of “the disappointment that many people feel” at not being able to get any of the 45,000 tickets allocated for the visit of Pope Francis to Knock Shrine on Sunday, August 26th but that there were no plans currently to make more tickets available there.
Decisions on the number of tickets available at the various venues were made based on advice that prioritised the safety, security, and comfort of people in attendance, she said. Roscommon TD Eugene Murphy (FF) has called for a further 5,000 tickets to be made available at Knock through a different source to online such as postal.
He said he had been contacted by people “who simply could not get through on the online booking system or had no access to broadband to book the tickets that they so desperately wanted to see the pope in Knock.”
Mr Murphy said not everybody was “internet savvy or has access to the internet”.
“There should have been a phone line for bookings and also a postal request system, so that those who wished to could have accessed tickets without having to go through the internet,” he said.
As to the “Nope to the Pope” campaign, which had been block-booking tickets they never planned to use to the Phoenix Park Mass, Ms Drumm said “we are not overly concerned by the relatively small number of false bookings. This was not unexpected with an event of this scale for which tickets were free.”
But she said it was “disappointing that some people would try to undermine the right of ordinary families to go to Mass with the Holy Father, showing little respect for the right to religious freedom.”
“However, World Meeting of Families 2018 is confident that it has robust systems in place to check all bookings and there will be a number of verification requirements before people actually receive a ticket,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Association of Catholic Priests is organising a series of four public regional meetings in Ireland at 7pm on the Wednesdays in July to determine “What do we need to say to Pope Francis about the Irish Church?”.
The meetings are open to everybody and summaries of what will be said at them will be prepared and forwarded to Pope Francis.
The first such meeting is on Wednesday, July 4th, at 7pm in the Mercy Centre at Mallow in Co Cork. The second public meeting will be at the Árd Rí Hotel in Tuam, Co Galway, at 7pm on Wednesday, July 11th.
The Wednesday, July 18th meeting takes place at 7pm in Dublin City Universit’s St Patrick’s Campus, E-Block, Drumcondra Road Lower, Dublin 9.
The final such meeting takes place at 7pm in Cavan town’s Kilmore Hotel on Wednesday, July 25th.