Belfast Telegraph

High demand for Pope's Irish visit sees organisers issue ticket tout warning

By Staff Reporter

Fears are growing that greedy ticket touts will try to exploit the papal visit to the Republic by selling tickets to his public appearance.

Organisers are warning that anybody who is asked to hand over money for a ticket to the Knock shrine or Phoenix Park in Dublin should immediately contact Irish police.

Special measures have been put in place to ensure every ticket has a unique barcode linking it back to the original owner.

Demand for tickets is expected to be extremely high when they are released on Monday.

An event in Dublin's Croke Park is already fully subscribed and the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) Pastoral Congress at the RDS in the city has enjoyed record registration numbers with people from more than 100 countries attending.

Father Tim Bartlett, secretary general of the WMOF, said the "eyes of the world will be on Ireland" when Pope Francis comes.

But he warned people need to start planning now if they want to travel to Phoenix Park or Knock.

While there will be 500,000 tickets for the open air mass in Dublin, places in Knock will be limited to just 45,000.

It is expected demand for the west of Ireland event will far exceed supply, meaning there is a risk that touts may try to take advantage of the situation.

"Every ticket will have a unique barcode," Fr Bartlett said. "For Knock, every ticket will have to be associated with a particular individual's name, simply because of the smaller scale and the printed ticket being sent out to them.

"For the Phoenix Park event every ticket will have to be associated with the email address of the group leader. They will be scanned on the way into the grounds.

"Let me make this very clear, if anyone is asked to pay for a ticket for any event that Pope Francis is at while he's here in Ireland, they should alert the gardai immediately."

Pope Francis will arrive at Knock shrine at 9.45am on Sunday, August 26. He will give his address in front of the shrine and leave for a flight back to Dublin an hour later.

Before the 3pm mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park it is planned that the pontiff would drive through the crowds in the Popemobile.

Belfast Telegraph

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