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Government officials to meet next week to get plans underway for Pope Francis visit

Phoenix Park is on course to host the Pontiff for his farewell Mass during his visit next August.

Pope Asia Pope Francis Source: Vincenzo PINTO

THE FIRST INTEL meeting of stakeholders for Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland is to take place next week.

Phoenix Park is on course to host the Pontiff for his farewell Mass during his visit next August.

This would be the second time it is held in the park, with more than one million people attending Pope John Paul II’s mass in 1979.

Next week’s intel meeting is being held to begin planning for the visit and will be attended by officials from the Office of Public Works, the Department of An Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

OPW Commissioner John McMahon will be in attendance at the meeting due to the operation of the Phoenix Park falling under the remit of the body.

Pope John Paul II - Phoenix Park The crowd in the Phoenix Park during Pope John Paull II's in 1979. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

It’s understood the OPW will be involved “in a number of events” during the visit next summer.

Since confirmation of Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland earlier this year, discussions have been taking place between World Meeting of Families organisers and State bodies.

However, the first formal meeting of organisers will take place early next week.

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Minister of State for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief Kevin Boxer Moran told that he was “delighted” that work was getting underway for the Pope’s August visit.

3478 Retirement age_90531169 Minister of State Kevin Boxer Moran Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

“Everything that is required for the visit will be looked after. A lot of planning will go into the visit but it will be a great few days for Ireland,” he said.

The itinerary for the trip is still to be announced but it’s expected to coincide with the ninth edition of the gathering of Catholic families, which is to take place on 21-26 August 2018.

There has been no indication yet if Pope Francis will travel north of the border, but it is widely expected that he will.

Read: ‘I wept… they wept too’: Pope Francis asks Rohingya for forgiveness at emotional meeting>

Read: ‘Lead us not into temptation’: Pope Francis wants the words to the Our Father changed>

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