Information compiled by Esther O’Moore Donohoe and Chris Jones
Pope Francis will arrive in Ireland on Saturday 25th August. He will appear at Croke Park that evening, and at both Knock and Phoenix Park on Sunday 26th August, with a series of additional events planned ahead of the visit.
On Tuesday (21st), Opening Evening Prayer takes place at the RDS in Dublin from 7pm to 8:30pm. From Wednesday (22nd) to Friday (24th), Pastoral Congress will take place at the RDS with events throughout each day. Dublin Bus will provide extra services on all routes serving the RDS.
There’s general information on all aspects of the Papal Visit at the government website here.
Note that all events are fully booked: do not travel without a ticket.
It is essential that you organise your trip well in advance and pre-book tickets for travel where necessary. Factor a long walk into your journey regardless of how you plan to get to the event. No exceptions will be made.
To jump to specific information on each of the main events, click below:
Photo by William Murphy
On Saturday (25th), Pope Francis will attend the Festival of Families at Croke Park in Drumcondra, with gates opening at 4pm.
The concert starts at 6:30pm and will run until 8:30pm. 70,000 people are expected to attend. Every person in attendance will require a ticket to access the venue.
We advise everyone to walk or use public transport if possible, as there will be limited parking in the vicinity of the stadium and a large number of road closures across the city. A full list of routes and times can be found here.
Croke Park is a 20-minute walk from the city centre.
The closest main line station is Drumcondra at the junction of Drumcondra Rd and Clonliffe Rd, a five-minute walk from the stadium.
The closest DART stations are Connolly and Clontarf. Connolly is a 15-20 minute walk and Clontarf a 20-25 minute walk to the stadium. The closest LUAS and Intercity stop is also at Connolly.
Note that booking is ESSENTIAL for customers using Intercity travel.
Full details of Irish Rail services for Pope Francis’s visit can be found here.
Croke Park is around a 16 minute walk from the Connolly Red Line stop or either the Parnell or Marlborough Green Line stops.
Dublin Bus will operate a normal Saturday service with significant diversions. Full details can be found here. The following Dublin Bus routes serve Croke Park: 1, 7, 11, 13, 14, 16, 27a, 27b, 29a, 31/a, 31b, 32, 33, 40, 40b, 40d, 41, 41b, 41c, 42, 43, 44, 53, 123 and 13.
All Bus Eireann services will operate to and from Busáras or its immediate surrounding area (Beresford Place, Amiens St, George’s Quay and Custom House Quay). From there, you can get the DART from Connolly to Drumcondra, connect to Dublin Bus or walk to the stadium in approx. 25 minutes.
Pope Francis will visit Knock in County Mayo in the morning of Sunday 26th August, before his visit to the Phoenix Park later that day. It will not be possible for the public to view Pope Francis arriving or departing Knock, and there will be no public viewing opportunities at Knock Airport.
Do not travel to Knock without a ticket. Plan your trip well in advance and allow plenty of time for your journey.
When you receive your ticket, it will include more information on getting to the event. You will be assigned a specific route to enter and leave the venue. It is strongly advised to car-pool or to organise coaches to get to Knock.
A Garda cordon will be in place on the day and it will not be possible to drive up to or park near the Shrine.
Road closures will be in place from 6pm on Saturday (25th) and the centre of Knock Village will be closed (except to residents). Full details can be found here.
The N17 between Charlestown and Claremorris will be closed from midnight on Saturday (25th) until at least 3pm on Sunday (26th). A business and community liaison team is in place to handle queries for those who live and work near Knock.
There will be a considerable walk from the car parks and there will be no shuttle bus facility available between car parks and the event site. Wear suitable footwear and bring waterproof clothing. Car-pooling and sharing are essential due to space limitations.
Those car-pooling or who have organised a coach will be given priority and will be dropped closest to the event.
Parking facilities will be provided around Knock on the day. Your ticket will indicate the best route to take into Knock.
Coaches have a designated parking area on the N17. This will result in the shortest distance to walk to and from the Knock Shrine via a short walkway.
Trains to Knock will be extremely limited and must be booked in advance. This includes Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection pass holders and annual ticket holders. If you do not have an advance booking, you will not be permitted to travel.
Limited services will operate from Westport, Ballina and Athlone with a bus connection at Claremorris for Knock. Your train ticket will gain you access to this bus connection service. There’s more information here.
Bus Éireann will operate additional services on the following routes:
Full details are available at the Bus Éireann website.
Only those named on airline passenger lists and those bringing named passengers will be able to access Ireland West Knock Airport between midnight on Saturday (25th) and 11:30am on Sunday.
Outbound passengers are advised to allow more travel time than usual as there will be a number of security checks on airport access routes.
Photo by William Murphy
Pope Francis will be the main celebrant at the Final Mass in the Phoenix Park, which marks the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families 2018 in Dublin. The mass will begin at 3pm and no more tickets are available.
Public transport and private coaches will bring you closest to the Phoenix Park, shortening your walk. Full details of public transport options are below.
There is no car park near the venue where attendees will be able to park up and walk to the event. Ticket-holders will be able to avail of free public transport in the Greater Dublin Area on Sunday (26th).
For those travelling from outside Dublin, the National Transport Authority asks that you pre-book your train or bus ticket or private coach.
Those who have booked a ticket and indicated they would like to travel by car will be contacted by the World Meeting of Families.
If you are planning on using your car to access Dublin City on Sunday, then be aware that diversions, road closures and restrictions will be in place on a number of routes.
A Controlled Access Zone will be in place around Dublin City from 6am until 11pm on Sunday (26th). There will also be a secure area around Dublin starting at the M50 from 6am to 11pm on Sunday.
Allow ample time for any journey and make plans accordingly. Do not leave it until the day of the event to plan your trip. Expect congestion on all routes during the visit.
Rolling restrictions will be in place on Saturday (25th) and Sunday (26th) as Pope Francis visits a number of locations in Dublin city centre. A full list of routes, dates and times can be found here.
Be prepared for a long walk regardless of how you plan to get to the Phoenix Park. Wear suitable footwear and bring waterproof clothing.
A normal Sunday service will be in place with diversions. Details here.
In addition to this, Dublin Bus will have seven dedicated transport hubs throughout the city, to bring you as close as possible to the Phoenix Park. Regular services from the transport hubs will commence from 8am and finish at night.
The Final Mass event ticket will be the only ticket accepted at the transport hubs. The services at the transport hubs are dedicated to those attending the event in the Phoenix Park.
The hubs will operate from the following locations (subject to change):
Airlink will operate on Saturday and Sunday but diversions will be in place so allow extra time.
For more Dublin Bus queries, click here.
Anyone intending to travel to Dublin via rail should book in advance at www.irishrail.ie – this includes Department of Social Protection pass holders and annual ticket holders.
If you do not have an advance booking, you will not be permitted to travel from any Intercity station.
If you want to travel to the Phoenix Park on Commuter services, you will need to present your Papal Ticket within the shorthop zone (from Balbriggan, Maynooth, Hazlehatch or Kilcoole) to avail of free travel. Large crowds are expected, so get there early.
A special Commuter timetable will be in operation on Sunday (26th) with extra services on Northern, Maynooth and Portlaoise services. Details at www.irishrail.ie
The nearest train stations to Phoenix Park are:
A special DART timetable will be in operation on Sunday (26th) and extra services will be provided. Present your Papal Ticket to avail of FREE travel. Large crowds are expected, so allow plenty of time to queue.
Details of the special timetable is available on www.irishrail.ie
The nearest DART Stations to Phoenix Park are:
The LUAS Red and Green line will be operating a 6-10 minute frequency throughout the day. Large crowds are expected, so allow plenty of time to queue.
There will be a LUAS stop operating at the Leopardstown racecourse for the first time.
There is no car park near the venue where attendees will be able to park up and walk to the event. While the event organisers have secured additional car parking for this event, these car spaces are for those availing of Park & Ride facilities (see below).
There will be specially created Park & Ride hubs in a number of locations around Dublin and Kildare where people can park up and then take public transport to and from the event. These are:
Translink have set up a special website for the Papal Visit. They will be operating their normal services and some additional special services to increase capacity in bus and rail. Coach hire is also available for groups.
Translink will be operating services from Northern Ireland to Connolly Station. These services must be booked in advance on www.translink.co.uk Those who do not have a valid booking will not be permitted to travel.
Main photo: Knocko