Belfast Telegraph

Almost half a million people secure ticket to Pope's Mass in Dublin

By Luke Byrne

More than 480,000 tickets for Pope Francis's Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park have now been allocated.

Just 20,000 tickets remain to see the pontiff when he visits the park for the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in August.

He will say the final Mass of his trip to the Republic at the venue.

The 45,000 tickets for his visit to Knock Shrine were snapped up almost immediately, having been put on sale at the same time as the tickets for Phoenix Park last week.

A spokesperson for the WMOF said there has been a big demand for tickets both from within Ireland and abroad.

"The request for tickets for all the World Meeting of Families 2018 events has been overwhelming by any standards," she said.

Meanwhile, a campaigner involved in the protest which involved buying up tickets for the Phoenix Park event with no intention of using them has expressed regret. Richard Duffy was involved with the 'Nope to the Pope' campaign against a welcome for Pope Francis in light of the sexual abuse scandals caused and covered up by the Catholic Church.

He said while he still wishes to protest the visit, he doesn't want to deprive anyone who wants to go to the event of a ticket.

"My intention was to express disappointment that the Pope was being made welcome," he explained.

He booked around 692 tickets and said if anyone misses out, he will try to help them.

"I have a couple of friends who wouldn't be regular Mass goers but an awful lot of people felt it was a personal attack on their faith," he commented. He admitted that he regretted booking the tickets "a little bit".

But he also had a serious problem with people, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, calling the campaign petty.

"This was a response to the horrendous abuse covered up by the Church, I don't see how you could call that petty," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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