Girl’s social media ‘hopping’ after securing selfie with Pope Francis
Alison Nevin took snap when at Croke PArk as representative of Traveller community
Alison Nevin as she managed to get a selfie on stage with Pope Francis on Saturday night at Croke Park in Dublin, during the Festival of Families event, as part of his visit to Ireland. Photograph: PA Wire
The mother of a young girl who managed to get a selfie on stage with Pope Francis on Saturday night in Croke Park says she is over the moon.
Alison Nevin (12) from Swords in Dublin — who was brought along as a representative of the Traveller community to meet Pope Francis during the Festival of Families — saw the golden opportunity for a selfie with the leader of the Catholic Church, and took it.
Her mother, Brigid, told the Press Association it is important that young traveller people have confidence in themselves, and Alison, who has met Pope Francis before, is a good example for others.
She said: “It was a lovely experience for us all, we were given two tickets for myself and Alison to attend, but we weren’t expecting to get up that close to him.
“One of the speakers brought Alison up along with her, as a representative of the young Traveller community.
“She was a bit nervous when she was sitting on the bench waiting to meet with him, but she said the nervousness left when she got up.
“She said she had been thinking of asking him for a selfie in her head, and didn’t tell anyone about it, just decided to go for it.
“She’s absolutely over the moon, her Facebook and Instagram were hopping off all over the place.
“We had to turn the phones off last night, they were ringing non-stop, and the picture was shared over and over.
“She starts her first day of secondary school tomorrow, so she’ll be started school famous.”
One of the biggest cheers in Croke Park on Saturday was for activist Missy Collins talking about Traveller families, their faith and their exclusion in Irish society. With Alison by her side, Ms Collins asked the Pontiff to pray for young Traveller people in Ireland.
“It’s very important for us to have members of the travelling community represented for young people,” Brigid added.
“With Alison being so young, she’s set a trend for her peers to have confidence in herself and do it.”
The Croke Park event marked the second time Alison met Pope Francis.
Due to suffering from a number of medical issues in the past, she and her mother were gifted tickets for a Papal Mass, and travelled to Rome to meet with the pontiff and present him with a gift, three years ago.–PA