In Pictures: Pope John Paul II's visit to Ireland (and a welcome from 2.5m people) in 1979
Pope Francis will be the first Pontiff to visit Ireland since Pope John Paul II almost 40 years ago, in 1979.
Over 2.5 million people visited Pope John Paul II during his trip to events organised in Dublin, Drogheda, Clonmacnoise, Knock, Maynooth, Limerick and Galway.
Dr Patrick Hillery was the President of a very different Ireland at the time. According to reports, a massive 10pc of baby boys were named John Paul in 1980, the year after the Papal visit.
Fast forward to 2018, Pope Francis is the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church.
He confirmed to Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Vatican today that he would come to Ireland.
It is widely expected the Pope will travel here for the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in 2018.
See photographs of the previous Papal visit above
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