All 45,000 tickets for the visit of Pope Francis to Knock in August have been booked as have some 70,000 for a series of World Meeting of Families events at the RDS, the organisers have said.
Demand for tickets to the papal Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park has also been strong with 285,000 of the 500,000 tickets sold as of 5pm on Monday.
“It is clear that what Pope Francis is saying about family, faith and society, is connecting with a wide range of people,” said Fr Timothy Bartlett, secretary general of the World Meeting of Families 2018.
“We are working hard to make the WMOF2018 a joyful, welcoming and comfortable event for all those who wish to attend.”
All but a few thousand of the approximately 37,000 tickets for the RDS events on August 22nd-24th had been sold as of Monday morning and the remaining tickets had been bought up by close of business. A one-day ticket for the RDS events costs € 38.
International registrations for the Dublin event are the highest recorded since the World Meeting of Families began in 1994, organisers say.
“We should be incredibly proud as a country that we have, by a factor of at least two to three, brought in the highest ever international registration for a World Meeting of Families pastoral congress,” Fr Bartlett said.
However, he said tickets would not be available for the Festival of Families event at Croke Park on the evening of August 25th, which will be attended by Pope Francis.
“We do not expect to be able to release tickets publicly for this event,” he said. Any extra places “would be made available to the homeless, refugees, to those working with or supporting those dealing with drug addiction, those helping families in need in our society”. These were “the people Pope Francis wants to have near him, that he wants to meet,” he said.
People with three-day tickets for the pastoral congress at the RDS are also being provided with tickets for the Croke Park event, which Pope Francis will attend, and the Mass in the Phoenix Park the following day which he will celebrate.
“Every parish of the 1,365 will receive 10 tickets for Croke Park and we’re asking every parish to ensure that at least one family is represented in that 10,” said Fr Bartlett.
Tickets for Knock and the Phoenix Park Mass are bar-coded to prevent touting and organisers said they were confident that they had robust systems in place to check and validate all bookings received.