Road closures and parking restrictions for Pope's visit set to bring Dublin to a halt
A raft of road closures and parking restrictions is set to bring Dublin to a halt during the visit of Pope Francis later this month.
Practically the entire city centre will be hit with hours of road closures from early on Saturday August 25, the day the Pontiff arrives.
And on Sunday August 26 road closures will stretch out to Ballyfermot, Cabra and Crumlin from as early as 6am and up until 11pm.
While local access will be maintained as far as possible, intermittent temporary road closures may also be implemented by Gardai as necessary.
Pope Francis will arrive in Dublin Airport at 10.30am on August 25.
Dublin City Council is considering a request from the Office of Public Works for the road closures.
On the Saturday more than 50 roads will be closed under the plans, with Bow Street, May Lane, Friary Avenue and New Church Street affected from 6am up to 5.15pm.
This is to facilitate the Pope’s visit to the Capuchin Day Centre.
From noon on the Saturday swathes of the city including Sean McDermott Street, O’Connell Street, Abbey Street and Henry Street on the northside, and Westmoreland Street, Dame Street, Nassau Street and College Green on the south are set to be shut to traffic until late in the afternoon.
Parking will also be suspended on streets within those areas, including the Sean McDermott Street / Cathal Brugha Street region, as well as Abbey Street.
The Sunday road closures are due to come into operation from 6am and affect areas including the Old Naas Road, Bluebell Avenue, Kylemore Road, Ballyfermot Road and Chapelizod Road south of the city as well as Ballyboggan Road, Ratoath Road, Fassaugh Road north of the Liffey.
Much of the quays will also be shut, including Burgh Quay, Aston Quay, Crampton Quay, Wellington Quay, Essex Quay, Wood Quay, Merchant’s Quay and Ushers Quay.
Bridges along the Grand Canal from Blackhorse to Grand Canal Dock will also be subject to closure up until 11pm.
Parking suspensions on the Sunday include Parkgate Street, areas of the North Circular Road near the Phoenix Park, Benburb Street and Infirmary Road.
The last time such similar measures were adopted was for the Queen's visit to Ireland in 2012, followed by President Barack Obama's 12 hour stopover.
After arriving in Dublin, the Pope will first travel to to Áras an Uachtaráin to meet President Michael D Higgins.
He will then transfer to Dublin Castle at noon, and later to the Pro Cathedral, and from there to the Capuchin day Centre for the homeless.
On Saturday evening he will attend Croke Park for the Feast of Families celebration.
On Sunday August 26 he will depart by plane for Knock in Co Mayo and visit the shrine there before coming back to Dublin and the Phoenix park that afternoon.
Here, the 50,000 pilgrims expected to attend are being urged to use public transport to get to Knock - more than 45,000 have indicated they intend on using their car. Gardai have warned if this happens, they could be facing 12 km walk to get to Knock Shrine to see the Pontiff.
Pope Francis will depart for Rome from Dublin Airport on Sunday evening.