Pope’s visit to Ireland: Route of popemobile tour through Dublin on Saturday revealed

About 100,000 people expected in Dublin city centre to see Pope Francis in popemobile

"I send a warm word of greeting to all the Irish people. I am excited at the thought of returning to Ireland!" Pope Francis issues a video message ahead of his visit to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families 2018.

 

The route the popemobile will take through Dublin city centre on Saturday has been revealed.

Gardaí expect up to 100,000 people will try to get a glimpse of Pope Francis as he passes through the centre of the capital on Saturday in his signature mode of transport.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy told RTÉ’s Today with Miriam show the tour through Dublin city would happen after the Pope finishes viewing St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral at around 4.15pm.

The popemobile entourage will go south on O’Connell Street, across O’Connell Bridge, up Westmoreland Street and continue up Dame Street. The motorcade will then pass Christchurch Cathedral, go down Bridge Street and across the Liffey onto Church Street to the Capuchin Centre where Pope Francis will have a private meeting with homeless families.

A number of road closures will be put in place.

Pope Francis touches down at Dublin Airport at 10:30am on Saturday. He will be greeted by clergy and representatives of the Government. It remains to be seen whether he will replicate the famous gesture of Pope John Paul II, at the start of the last papal visit almost nearly four decades ago, by kissing the Irish ground as he gets off the plane.

He will first take a trip to Áras an Úachtaráin to meet President Michael D Higgins. There will be a welcome ceremony at the main gate to the Áras, beside the Phoenix Monument on Chesterfield Avenue, in the Phoenix Park. The pontiff will spend about half an hour with President Higgins, his wife Sabina. The Pope will sign a visitors’ book then have a private meeting with the President. There are also plans for the pontiff to plant a tree in the grounds of the Áras.

Afterwards he will travel to Dublin Castle where the Pope will meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as well as church leaders, the Council of State, Government MEPs, Northern Ireland political party leaders and some members of the judiciary. This will be where the first of his three planned speeches during the two-day trip will be given. After that, he will cross the Liffey again to see St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral before touring Dublin city centre in the popemobile before making a private visit to the Capuchin Fathers day centre for homeless families on Arran Quay.

Here, he will meet 80 people who are homeless. Then, the first major event of the trip - the Pope will give an address to the Festival of Families extravaganza at Croke Park.