On September 29, 1979, John Paul II became the first Pope to set foot on Irish soil.  1,250,000 people (1/4 of the population of the island of Ireland, and 1/3 of the population of the Republic of Ireland) attended his Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park. Over 250,000 attended a Liturgy of the Word in Drogheda later that evening. Hundreds of thousands lined the streets of Dublin that night for a motorcade from Dublin Airport to Áras an Uachtaráin, the Presidential Residence in the Phoenix Park. 

The following day, Sunday 30 September, included Masses in Galway (300,000), Knock (450,000) and a stop over at the monastic ruins of Clonmacnois (20,000). The final day of the visit began with a visit to the National Seminary in Maynooth (attended by 80,000). The final Mass of the visit was at Greenpark Racecourse in Limerick in the south of the country before 400,000 people which was more than had been expected.  From Wlkipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pastoral_visits_of_Pope_John_P...

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Comment by James McNamara on October 5, 2013 at 7:23pm

In June of 2000, my cousin brought me to this very spot and told me how there were sections roped off for each county's folks with a full million in attendance for the Pope celebration of mass.  We walked to the cross and all around and all the while he recounted what went on and what it was like to be there.

Comment by Rónán Gearóid Ó Domhnaill on October 6, 2013 at 1:58am

It was a big event and big events did not really happen much in Ireland at the time. Conmacnoise was supposed to be  a secret and the 20,000 camped out for three days waiting for the pope for arrive.

The mass at Galway had a 'warm up act' by two members of the clergy who later fell from grace- Father Micheal Clery and Bishop Eamonn Casey. 


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Comment by Nollaig 2016 on October 6, 2013 at 10:38am

He was like a rock star for those three days in Ireland.

Comment by James McNamara on October 6, 2013 at 10:53am

He certainly became a superstar and far more popular than any rock star for the last 10 years of his life.  People I know who were within a 10 feet of him as he passed were deeply affected by his presence.

Comment by Rónán Gearóid Ó Domhnaill on October 6, 2013 at 1:06pm

Young people of Ireland I love you!

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