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People who are binning tickets to see the Pope are 'wrong, petty and mean-spirited' says Taoiseach

Varadkar added the move was “not legitimate protest”.

The Pope in the Vatican yesterday.
The Pope in the Vatican yesterday.
Image: Evandro Inetti

THE TAOISEACH HAS said that people who apply for tickets to see the Pope with the intention of not using them are “wrong, petty and mean-spirited”.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, Leo Varadkar said that denying others the chance to see the Pontiff was “not legitimate protest”.

“I firmly believe that such actions, if they are happening, are wrong, petty and mean-spirited. Protest is legitimate and okay, but denying other people the opportunity to attend a mass or an event is not legitimate protest in my view and is most unfair. It should be condemned.”

Varadkar said that the cost of the visit to the exchequer will be “more than €10 million and less than €20 million”.

The Say Nope To The Pope campaign on Facebook encourages people to order the free tickets as a form of “peaceful protest” against the Pope’s visit. One person in the group claims to have booked 800 tickets, though the website limits people to 12 tickets each.

Supporters say that there are still thousands of tickets available for those who wish to see the Pope in the Phoenix Park.

Tickets for Pope Francis’s visit to Knock were booked out within four hours, with protesters not booking any of those. In total, 45,000 tickets were available for the Pope’s visit to the holy site. They booked out in four hours.

Pope Francis will be in Ireland for two days, 25 and 26 August, as part of the World Meeting of Families event.

500,000 tickets were made available for the Phoenix Park mass, with a large number still available.

Around one fifth of the population have indicated that they would attend the mass to be celebrated by the Pope in Phoenix Park, and over 2,500 people have signed up to volunteer for the festival.

The event will run in Ireland from 21 to 26 August, with a pastoral congress taking place in the RDS from 22 to 24 August.

Tickets for all events are available here

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