Belfast Telegraph

Over 300,000 book tickets to see Pope on his visit to Ireland

Applications for more than 300,000 tickets to see Pope Francis in the Republic were made in a single day.

Tickets for the Pontiff's appearances in Phoenix Park and Knock on August 25 and 26 were released through an online portal early yesterday morning.

Organisers reported an "unprecedented demand" for tickets.

Some 285,000 tickets - more than half of those available - were snapped up to see Pope Francis at Phoenix Park in the first 12 hours alone.

The tickets were made available at 5am online yesterday morning.

A total of 500,000 tickets have been made available for the mass in Phoenix Park as part of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) event.

Meanwhile, as expected, all 45,000 free tickets for the opportunity to pray the Angelus with Pope Francis at Knock Shrine were snapped up within a matter of hours.

It took just four hours for the final tickets to be allocated at 9.12am yesterday.

Speaking about the scale of the bookings, Belfast-born priest Fr Timothy Bartlett, Secretary General of the WMOF2018, said that he is hugely encouraged by the response to all of the planned events - those with Pope Francis and those that will take place before he arrives to Ireland.

"It is clear that what Pope Francis is saying about family, faith and society, is connecting with a wide range of people," he said.

"We are working hard to make the WMOF2018 a joyful, welcoming and comfortable event for all those who wish to attend.

"While I know that many people will be disappointed that they have not managed to get tickets for Knock Shrine or for the RDS Pastoral Congress, I would encourage them to come to the mass in Phoenix Park for a joyful celebration of faith and the good news of family in our lives.

"It will also be a memorable and historic occasion."

For Knock, all tickets will have the name of the owner and be subject to checks. Anybody who is asked to pay for a ticket to either event is being urged to contact the gardai.

Meanwhile, WMOF organisers said that its pastoral congress event has been sold out. It will take place in the RDS in Dublin from August 22 to 24.

A total of 37,000 registrations have been received for the congress which is a paid event - tickets are €38 per adult for a one day booking, with all children under 18 free.

Belfast Telegraph

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