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Dublin: 20 °C Friday 23 August, 2019
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Arlene Foster turns down invite to see Pope Francis, cites holiday plans

The DUP leader says she ‘regretfully’ can’t attend the event.

Foster says she will be on holiday with family.
Foster says she will be on holiday with family.
Image: PA Images

DUP LEADER ARLENE Foster has turned down an invitation by the Irish government to see Pope Francis in Dublin Castle.

The Pope is to address an invited audience in Dublin Castle tomorrow-week in an event organised by the Department of An Taoiseach.

Foster today confirmed that she was invited to the event but has said that she “regretfully” can’t make the event, citing holiday plans as the reason.

“Mrs Foster has received an invitation from the Republic of Ireland’s government to an address by Pope Francis in Dublin Castle on Saturday 25 August,” a DUP spokesperson said this afternoon.

“Mrs Foster appreciates the invitation but regretfully will be away with her family at that time. She particularly acknowledges the significance of this event for many Roman Catholics in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

The address is due to take place in St. Patrick’s Hall in Dublin Castle at 12.15 pm and will include the Pope meeting authorities, members of civil society and the diplomatic corps.

Pope Francis is due to arrive in Ireland when he lands at Dublin Airport at 10.30 am on 25 August.

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Rónán Duffy

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