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Eucharistic Congress abandons plans to screen Euro 2012 games for pilgrims

Bad news for faithful Ireland fans as thousands descend on Dublin for the landmark Catholic event.

Final preparations under way in the RDS today
Final preparations under way in the RDS today
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

BAD NEWS FOR faithful football fans attending the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin – organisers have abandoned plans to screen Ireland’s Euro 2012 matches at the event.

Earlier this year, the organising committee said that temporary screens would be erected so pilgrims could watch Ireland’s progress in Poland and Ukraine.

But a spokesperson for the Congress told today that this would not be the case. She said that while the match against Croatia “may be shown within one of the [congress] venues]”, it would not be an official screening.

There’s no specific plan for a large screen to be constructed. Tomorrow’s events finish at 5pm so a lot of the pilgrims will be home in time for the game.

Roughly 20,000 people are expected to attend tomorrow’s opening ceremony in Dublin. Around 7,000 pilgrims are travelling to the Congress from overseas, according to organisers. Most have already arrived yesterday, or are due to arrive today.

Organisers described the IEC’s site at the RDS as “a hive of activity” ahead of the opening.

“We’re really putting the final preparations in place,” spokesperson Aoife Connors said.

We’ve got the main stage constructed at this point. There’s lots of colour and lots of activity -the exhibition space is being built, the prayers spaces are being builts and at Simmonscourt we’ve got lots of pilgrims arriving to collect their packs and passes.

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The Congress has attracted pilgrims from 123 countries for events beginning tomorrow at 1pm. The opening ceremony will be broadcast live on RTÉ One.

The climactic event of the IEC will take place in Croke Park on Sunday June 17. Almost 80,000 tickets have been sold with only a few seats remaining in the topmost stands, Connors said.

Read: Ticket sales “going great” for Eucharistic Congress>

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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