Monday 5 December 2016

Mary Kenny: A spot of pontificating…

My guide for Pope Francis on his forthcoming Irish visit

Published 12/06/2016 | 02:30

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

It is evident that someone will have to brief Pope Francis before he comes to Ireland, north and south, probably in 2018. So I've taken it upon myself to outline some of the pitfalls - and treats - that may await the Argentine Pontiff. The point has been made that it won't be a re-run of 1979, when John Paul II visited Ireland. That was the last hurrah of old Catholic Ireland, which is dead and gone. And, Papa Francis, be aware that a lot of folk think that's all for the best.

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Anyway, you'll have fun talking to our President, Michael D Higgins (now reliably predicted to be a shoe-in for a second term in office) and his friendly and spontaneous wife, Sabina. He's a great fan of Latin America - you could swap stories about Venezuela, Nicaragua under the Sandinista regime and dear old Fidel and Company in Cuba, among his favourites.

By the way, an Irish-Argentinian who is gaining heritage status - especially in Galway, land of his foremothers - is Ernesto "Che" Guevaro-Lynch, and I'm sure El Presidente will be able to share some thoughts with you on this. You could always discourse about the quality of the motorbikes he rode.

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