Belfast Telegraph

Exhibition recalls first papal visit to Ireland

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin with the chair used by Pope John Paul II on his visit to Dublin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin with the chair used by Pope John Paul II on his visit to Dublin
Tommy McManus, Mary McManus and Paddy Farrell
Brother Kevin and Ethel Merrins at the launch of a new exhibition in the Phoenix Park Visitors' Centre
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

An exhibition chronicling the preparations for the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul II to Phoenix Park in Dublin has opened.

It looks at how the largest ever public event in Ireland, attended by over a million people, was organised and staged.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is the original papal chair, which has recently been restored.

It also looks at logistical issues including security and transport arrangements, the building of a helicopter landing pad, and how the immense interest of the international media was facilitated.

The exhibition was launched by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre yesterday.

He said: "I encourage the many people coming to the Phoenix Park to visit this wonderful exhibition."

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