With the Pope coming to visit later week, let’s look back at how much Ireland has changed since the last Papal visit nearly 40 years ago…
Pope John Paul landed in Dublin on the 29th of September and stayed until the 1st of October in 1979. He began his visit with a kiss on the ground at Dublin Airport before being whisked off to the Phoenix Park by helicopter. He did a mini tour of Ireland visiting Dublin, Drogheda, Galway, Knock, Limerick, Maynooth and Clonmacnoise before ending his trip in Shannon, where he flew to Boston to start his US tour.
Pope Francis will visit Ireland from August the 25th and 26th, landing in Dublin at 10.30am. while here he has a hectic schedule of going from Dublin to Knock and then back to Dublin where he will depart back to Rome. It’s unsure if he will kiss the ground like John Paul did, but bookies are offering some slim odds on it.
The sitting President at the time was Patrick Hillery, who was one of the first visitors to greet the Pope on his trip. He remained in office until 1990 and was succeeded by Mary Robinson. The pope was greeted by 750,000 people through the streets of Dublin and mass the Phoenix Park drew a crowd of 1.25 million.
The first stop on Pope Francis trip is to Aras on Uachtarain where he will be greeted by Michael D Higgins (and hopefully his two dogs), for a private meeting and to plant a tree on the grounds. On the same day, he will visit Dublin Castle where he will meet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and other members of the Church and Government. Crowd size for mass at the Phoenix Park has shrunk with an expected 750,000 people expecting to attend on Sunday. There are lots of Road closures in place, so Public Transport is advised. Visit the TFI website for more information HERE
Viva II Papa by Catriona Walsh was Number one when Pope John Paul came to visit, which was followed by Welcome John Paul by Jim Tobin, which stayed at number one for two weeks after he left. The Top films that year included Rocky 2, Apocalypse Now, Star Trek and Alien. Kramer vs. Kramer won Best Picture at the Oscars in the same year.
Number one this week in the Charts in Shotgun by George Ezra with it sitting at Number one for three weeks now. There has been no news of a Pope Francis song being released by anyone just yet, but we can always hope one will pop up somewhere. New film releases this month have been The Meg, Mamma Mia! Here we go again, Incredibles 2 and Christopher Robin. Winner of Best Picture at this year’s Oscars was The Shape of Water.
The one big change what has happened since his last visit is the appearance of the M50 Motorway, which started being built in 1983 and wasn’t opened to the public until 1990.