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Pope’s visit to Dublin to cost €20 million - Archbishop

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said €5m has already been raised through church collections for the visit

Pope Francis blows on a cake to celebrate his birthday during a special meeting at Paul VI hall at the Vatican December 17, 2017. Photograph: Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin estimates that the Pope’s visit to Dublin next year will cost €20million.

Fund raising has already commenced to meet this cost, he told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show.

However, he has not ruled out a Vatican contribution. When asked about a contribution from the State, he said that he believes the State will look at the visit of the Pope the same as they would any other distinguished visitor, just like they did with Queen Elizabeth and President Obama.

He said that when the last World Meeting of Families was held in Philadelphia the American security was “ludicrous”. He is hopeful that the Pope will get to meet with homeless people and Travellers.

Archbishop Martin pointed out that the Pope likes to visit prisons wherever he visits. “It is something he feels very strongly about.”

He thought that the Pope would be very interested in the work of Brother Kevin in the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless people.

But he warned that he was being careful not to create expectations of where the Pope might visit. Personally, he would like to bring him to Dublin’s north inner city.

The Archbishop said that €5 million has already been raised through church collections and the remainder will come from fund raising. “I’m very anxious that families coming to the Phoenix Park will not incur costs.”

He said he does not anticipate mass protests, but that people are entitled to protest.

On the issue of the Referendum on the Eighth Amendment, the Archbishop said he is hoping for a respectful debate from both the Pro Life and Pro Choice sides.

Catholics have the right to present their position respectfully but strongly, he added.