Friday 9 December 2016

In Pictures: Pope John Paul II's visit to Ireland (and a welcome from 2.5m people) in 1979

Published 28/11/2016 | 11:42

Pope John Paul II waves as he boards an Aer Lingus flight at Shannon Airport following his visit to Ireland on October 01, 1979. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Pope John Paul II waves as he boards an Aer Lingus flight at Shannon Airport following his visit to Ireland on October 01, 1979. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Pope John Paul II during the Papal visit to the Phoenix Park.
Pope John Paul 11 kisses the ground on arrival at Dublin airport at the start of his Papal visit ,September 1979.Pic Tom Burke
Liz Jackson and Russell Gleeson presenting flowers to Pope John Paul II at Dublin Airport upon his arrival in Ireland in 1979.
Pope John Paul II in Knock in 1979
Liz Jackson and Russell Gleeson presenting flowers to Pope John Paul II at Dublin Airport upon his arrival in Ireland in 1979.
Faithful: After the Pope’s September 1979 visit (pictured), John Paul became the name of choice for many newborn boys
Pope John Paul II arrives in Dublin.
POPE JOHN PAUL II ARRIVES IN THE PHOENIX PARK IN DUBLIN, 1979, BY HELICOPTER.
Pope John Paul II reading on the flight from Rome to Dublin flown by Capt Thomas McKeown on September 29, 1979
Pope John Paul II visited Ireland in September 1979
Seminarians reaching out to touch Pope John Paul II in Maynooth College in 1979.
Pope John Paul II arriving in Phoenix Park during his visit in 1979.
The crowds in the Phoenix Park during the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979
The late Paddy Levin with Pope John Paul II in 1979
The visit of Pope John Paul II
Blessings: Pope John Paul II meets the gathered crowds with Cardinal Ó Fiaich in Phoenix Park
Pope John Paul II

Pope Francis will be the first Pontiff to visit Ireland since Pope John Paul II almost 40 years ago, in 1979.

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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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