Pope Francis to visit Ireland in August

Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will visit Ireland in August, making him the first papal visit to the country for almost 40 years.

His planned visit coincides with the World Meeting of Families, an international Catholic event hosted by Dublin, and organised once every three years.

Pope John Paul the II was the last papal to visit the
Republic of Ireland in 1979, attracting a crowd of over 2.5million, a figure that is more than half of the state's population.

His holiness, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park. He is scheduled to also partake in the 'Festival of Families' in Croke Park, the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).

The announcement has been welcomed by the Catholic bishops in Ireland as Pope Francis will arrive in a vastly changed and much more secular Ireland.

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