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Dublin: 11 °C Saturday 17 November, 2018

All 500,000 tickets booked out for Papal Mass in Phoenix Park

The pontiff arrives next month.

Members of the public gather at the Papal Cross in the Phoenix Park.
Members of the public gather at the Papal Cross in the Phoenix Park.

EVERY TICKET FOR the papal mass in Phoenix Park for the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) 2018 has been booked out, it was confirmed this evening.

The free tickets went live for booking on Monday 25 June at 5.00am and within the first 24 hours 285,000 tickets were booked.

One day later the bookings had risen to 400,000.

Commenting on tickets being booked out so far in advance of the Mass with Pope Francis, Father Timothy Bartlett, Secretary General of the WMOF 2018 said those involved in organising the event are not surprised at the very high levels of interest.

He said: “While I was cautious at the beginning, and while I am a little surprised every part of the event is booked out six weeks in advance, including the Mass for half-a-million people in Phoenix Park, I am not surprised at all by the incredibly high levels of interest. Family is important to all of us. People like what Pope Francis is saying about family and the church.”

Bartlett made an appeal for those coming to the mass to plan their journey well in advance.

“We are working with the Gardai and other authorities to make the WMOF2018 a joyful, welcoming and comfortable event. But it is vital everybody thinks through how they will get to and from the Mass, what they will bring with them in terms of seating, clothing and food. There will be lots of facilities in the Park, including water, food outlets and toilets. There will also be lots of music, singing and other activities before and after Pope Francis is there.”

The Government is set to spend almost €3 million on security personnel and equipment for Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland.

It was also revealed that specialist garda operations targeting gangs and violent criminals in some parts of Dublin have had overtime allocations stopped in a bid to save money for the papal visit.

Hundreds of uniformed members will be deployed around the Phoenix Park – many to assist public order units, with others helping stewards to keep the event safe and to avoid any crushes or bottlenecks.

However, there will also be a large number of specialist units around the park on the day. These will include armed gardaí, bomb sniffer dogs as well as snipers.

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