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People arrive in Knock this morning. Niall Carson
heavy traffic

8km tailbacks in Mayo as Knock prepares for pope visit

The pope will visit the shrine this morning ahead of his Phoenix Park Mass.

TAILBACKS OF ABOUT 8km are being reported in Mayo, as the village of Knock prepares for the visit of Pope Francis this morning.

The pope is due to land at Ireland West Airport and is expected at the shrine at 9.45am.

He will leave the village about an hour later, heading back to Dublin by plane in preparation for this afternoon’s Mass at the Phoenix Park which is expected to be attended by some 500,000 people.

AA Roadwatch reported that it was “very heavy” on the Ballyhaunis/Kiltimagh Rd (R323) into Kiltimagh, with a taiback stretching about 8km.

“It’s very slow too on the N17 northbound, with a 4.5km tailback, approaching the road closure outside Claremorris,” the traffic monitoring service said.

“It’s also heavy approaching the N17 on the N60 Ballyhaunis/Claremorris Rd in both directions.”

There are a number of road closures in place including the main road through Knock and the main N17 between the towns of Charlestown and Claremorris.

Some 45,000 people applied for the free tickets to the pope’s Knock visit. Organisers were encouraging them to travel by coach, warning motorists that they would face a 3km walk to the event.

There are also widespread road closures in Dublin, particularly in the western half of the city, this morning. You’ll find our bumper guide to getting around here.

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