Tuesday 6 December 2016

Irish teenager meets Pope Francis after inviting the Pontiff for a burger and chips

Published 13/11/2015 | 11:27

Gary (13) was thrilled to meet the Pope after inviting him for a burger.
Gary (13) was thrilled to meet the Pope after inviting him for a burger.

An Irish teenager who invited the Pope to share a burger with him had the chance to meet the Pontiff during a pilgrimage to Rome.

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Gary Keaveney (13), from Dunmore in Galway decided to write a letter to Pope Francis while he was in Rome inviting him to share a burger with him outside the Vatican.

“Gary decided to write a letter to the Pope with a novel suggestion,” his mum Anne told The Irish Daily Mail.

“The letter reached the Papal Nuncio who organised special tickets for an audience with the Pope in St Peter’s Square.

“As it happened it started to rain while we were waiting and we were invited inside for a smaller audience where four of our group and their parents were invited up on to the stage to actually meet him,” she said.

Gary, who has Down Syndrome, is a member of Dunmore’s Faith and Light group which supports children and families with special needs. He travelled to Rome during his mid-term break with him mum, granny and sister along with 37 other Irish families as part of a pilgrimage.

The teenager, who is in sixth class in school, was thrilled to have unexpectedly met Pope Francis following his unusual invitation.

“It was an amazing experience that none of us will ever forget,” said Gary’s mum Ann.

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