Una Mullally: Pope welcome to visit but must pay own way

Why aid wealthy Catholic Church when it already cost State €1.5bn in compensation?

St Peter’s in Rome: People talk about the moneymaking scheme of Scientology but that organisation is in the ha’penny place when it comes to raking in the dough. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

St Peter’s in Rome: People talk about the moneymaking scheme of Scientology but that organisation is in the ha’penny place when it comes to raking in the dough. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Listening to Norah Casey talk about raising €20 million for the pope’s visit on Claire Byrne Live, last Monday, I wondered had it crossed her mind to ask the multibillion-euro organisation she’s fundraising on behalf of for a dig-out? Just a thought.

I don’t think there’s any argument about whether or not Pope Francis “should” come to Ireland. He’s perfectly entitled to visit, and I think it will be a very pleasant, exciting and inspiring event for Catholics who attend. Whether the Government throws a few bob towards the trip is another thing, but I find it hard to get incensed about the taxpayer contributing a little (emphasis on the “little” as in a few grand) towards the visit a religious leader. Sure don’t we do it for all sorts of folks visiting the country? And a few quid doesn’t really make a difference when we’ll be shovelling any sort of real money into the bottomless pit of banking-Armageddon debt for years. Ireland’s debt currently stands at €200 billion, and we also have the highest rate of debt per person in Europe, and the third-highest per person in the world.

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