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New Yorkers flying direct to Knock for a special Pilgrimage this summer

More than 700,000 passengers flew via Knock Airport last year – the highest figure ever in its 29 year history.

Image: Sasko Lazarov via Photocall Ireland

A DIRECT FLIGHT from New York to Ireland West Airport Knock is being organised for this summer.

The plane will be packed with pilgrims.

It will be the first ever transatlantic service operated by Aer Lingus – from the US to the airport – and the first official chartered pilgrimage to Ireland’s National Marian Shrine.

Rector of Knock Shrine, Father Richard Gibbons said, “It’s important to note that Ireland West Airport Knock was built specifically to welcome pilgrims to Knock Shrine as well as to develop the economic life of the West.”

The airport was built by Monsignor James Horan. It’s reported that he told Jim Fahy of RTE News in 1981:

We’re building an airport and I hope the Department of Transport doesn’t hear about it. Now don’t tell them … we’ve no money, but we’re hoping to get it next week, or the week after.

Father Gibbons mentioned Monsignor James Horan saying “I’m sure he would be very proud”.

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The Diocesan pilgrimage from the Archdiocese of New York to the shrine will take place from 8 to 16 August.

During the eight-day visit, a specially-tailored Pilgrimage programme will be put together showcasing some of Ireland’s most historic spiritual sites.

The Chairman of Ireland West Airport Knock Joe Kennedy said,”We hope this is an important stepping stone in securing regular transatlantic services for the region into the future and we look forward to welcoming our US visitors to the West of Ireland in 2015.”

Read: A record number of passengers flew via Knock airport last year>

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