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'Pope Francis holy water' selling well at one stall - but flag vendors report quiet day

Vendors selling Vatican flags reported a slow day, as Pope Francis visited Dublin.

ONE ENTERPRISING VENDOR in Dublin said he’d had quite a bit of interest in his bottles of ‘Pope Francis holy water’ this afternoon, while elsewhere in the city centre flag-sellers said business had been quieter than expected.

Stephen O’Brien was selling the glass bottles – each bearing a sticker of the pope’s face and on offer for €5 – from a makeshift stall at the corner of North Earl Street, close to the Pro Cathedral.

He had made a donation to the cathedral’s charity box and taken the water from the font, after he heard Pope Francis would be visiting today, O’Brien said.

Other pope-related paraphernalia had not been selling quite so well, O’Brien told just before the pope’s parade through the city started and while the pontiff himself was still inside the cathedral.

Pope Francis visit to Ireland - Day 1 Stephen O'Brien selling bottles of holy water from St Mary's Pro Cathedral. PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Around the corner on O’Connell Street a flag seller making his way through the crowd toting Vatican flags said business had been “very slow”.

At the corner of O’Connell Street and Abbey Street another man who had set up a small stall said it had been “very quiet” all day, and hadn’t particularly picked up ahead of the parade.

Traders continued to make their way along the streets carrying bunches of flags and offering them for sale as people began to leave the parade.

The crowd along O’Connell Street was about five or six deep along each side of the route, as Pope Francis passed aboard his Popemobile, heading towards Dame Street on his way to an engagement at the Capuchin Day Centre.

Many had brought flags or carried their own signs of support for the pontiff.

Elsewhere along the route, groups of protesters calling for justice for victims of clerical abuse gathered. A larger protest is due to be held at 3pm at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin tomorrow, to coincide with the start of the pope’s Phoenix Park Mass.

Pope Francis visit to Ireland Statues on sale in Knock this week. Niall Carson / PA Wire/PA Images Niall Carson / PA Wire/PA Images / PA Wire/PA Images

Earlier this week, an RDS stall selling officially-endorsed Pope Francis dolls for €35 each at the Catholic Church’s World Meeting of Families pastoral congress reported strong trade.

Vendors at Knock, where the pope is due to visit tomorrow, have also invested in Francis-themed souvenirs.

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