Tuesday 20 November 2018

Pope Francis has arrived in Knock as second day of visit to Ireland gets underway

Pope Francis greets Knock School Children at Ireland West Airport, Knock today.
PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis greets Knock School Children at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis blesses schoolchildren as he arrives at Ireland West Airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis carefully makes his way down the steps from his plane at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
26/8/18 A doll of Pope Francis which was on sale in Dublin. Picture:Arthur Carron
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
The Pope’s Plane pictured arriving at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Michael Ring, Minister for Rural Affairs with Catherine Hynes (wife of MAyo Co, Manager) and Blackie Gavin, Lord MAyor, Castlebar at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis with Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring greets Clergy at Ireland West Airport, Knock. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Schoolchildren from St. Patrick’s National School, Cloonlyon wait to greet Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
The Pope’s Plane arrives at Ireland West Airport, Knock. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis is kissed by Mary McCarthy at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
The Pope’s Plane arrives at Ireland West Airport, Knock. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis greets Knock School Children at Ireland West Airport, Knock today. PIC COLIN O’RIORDAN
Pope Francis as he arrives at Ireland West Airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis laughs as he leaves St Mary's Pro Cathedral during his visit to Dublin, Ireland, August 25, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Pope Francis waves to the waiting crowds on College Green, Dublin, as he travels in the Popemobile during his visit to Ireland. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Laura Larkin and Fiona Dillon

Pope Francis has touched down in Ireland West Airport as the second day of his visit to Ireland gets underway.

At the airport the Pontiff was welcomed to Mayo by a group of 100 local school children.

Pope Francis personally greeted a number of  the children who had gathered to welcome him.

With a big smile and time devoted to as many as possible, the Pope patted their heads and spoke with a number of the children before departing the airport for Knock shrine.

A number of bishops, Minister Michael Ring and airport representatives met the Pontiff from the plane.

John McCarthy, head of operations at the airport, his wife Mary and their four children Saoirse (11),  Michael (10) and twins Robin and Ruby (8) greeted the Pope.

Pope Francis blesses schoolchildren as he arrives at Ireland West Airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland.
Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis blesses schoolchildren as he arrives at Ireland West Airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis as he arrives at Ireland West Airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
The plane carrying Pope Francis arrives at Ireland West Airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
People wait in the rain ahead of a visit of Pope Francis to Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
The plane carrying Pope Francis arrives at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis is greeted by a delegation of clergy and representatives from Ireland West Airport as he arrives at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
The plane carrying Pope Francis arrives at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
The plane carrying Pope Francis arrives at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis is greeted by a delegation of clergy and representatives from Ireland West Airport as he arrives at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis is greeted by a delegation of clergy and representatives from Ireland West Airport as he arrives at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pope Francis is greeted by a delegation of clergy and representatives from Ireland West Airport as he arrives at the airport in Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
The faithful wait in the rain ahead of a visit of Pope Francis to Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
The faithful wait in the rain ahead of a visit of Pope Francis to Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pilgrims wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Knock Holy Shrine, in County Mayo where he will view the Apparition Chapel and to give the Angelus address, as part of his visit to Ireland. Niall Carson/PA Wire
Schoolchildren wait for the arrival of Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock in County Mayo, as part of his visit to Ireland. Yui Mok/PA Wire
The faithful wait in the rain ahead of a visit of Pope Francis to Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
The faithful wait ahead of a visit of Pope Francis to Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, August 26, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
26/08/2018 Liam Hughes, from Athlone at Knock Shrine for the visit of Pope Francis. Pic credit; Damien Eagers / INM
26/08/2018 Annemarie and Aaron Ward from Tuam with their children from left to right Destiny, Santana and Martin pictured at Knock Shrine for the visit of Pope Francis. Pic credit; Damien Eagers / INM
26/08/2018 Holly, 8 and Paddy, 6, Hunt from Knock pictured outside Knock Shrine for the visit of Pope Francis. Pic credit; Damien Eagers / INM
26/08/2018 Holly, 8 and Paddy, 6, Hunt from Knock pictured outside Knock Shrine for the visit of Pope Francis. Pic credit; Damien Eagers / INM
Pilgrims arriving to see Pope Francis at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pilgrims arriving to see Pope Francis at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Rev Thomas Harrington from Cork arriving to see Pope Francis at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pilgrims and children arriving to see Pope Francis at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pilgrims arriving to see Pope Francis at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pilgrims arriving to see Pope Francis at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018
Pilgrims arriving to see Pope Francis at Knock Shrine. Pic Steve Humphreys 26th August 2018

Mary McCarthy kissed the Pope as he departed the plane.

“Time just stood still when I saw him in front of me and I kissed him on both cheeks.

“It was amazing, even his hands as he I held them were so warm,” she told Independent.ie.

The couple’s children Saoirse Anne (11), Michael (10) and twins Robyn and Ruby (8) also greeted the Pope.

“I said ‘welcome to the west of Ireland’,” said Saoirse, who presented the Pope with a bouquet of flowers.

“He handed me the rosary beads and said “never forget to pray for me,”

Ahead of the visit by Pope Saoirse said she was very nervous but all went off without a hitch on the day.

“The pressure is off now,” joked dad John.

He then met a delegation of airport staff and local clergy, including Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary. Rural Affairs Minister Michael Ring and Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Kieran Gavin also greeted the Pope.

The grandmother of a young boy who received a blessing at the airport has described the moment as "wonderful" for her family.

After disembarking the plane in Knock and greeting the welcoming delegation Pope Francis made a bee line for local boy Iarlaith Farrell who was one of the dozens of school children waiting to welcome the Pope to the West.

Iarlaith (7), who has Cerebral Palsy, was there with his grandmother Liz Farrell.

It was an emotional moment for Ms Farrell, who has 17 grandchildren in all.

“As a family we wanted a blessing for Iarlaith and we got our blessing and he got a kiss from the Pope,” she told Independent.ie.

“The Pope shook my hand as well, it’s a great day for our family and for Knock as well.”

Ms Farrell was in shock in the moments after meeting Pope Francis and said the moment far exceeded her expectations for the morning.

“He came straight for him, and from what I’ve seen from the Pope he is so interested in the children and it means a lot for the parents,” she said.

Even in the build up to today's meeting she said she could hardly believe it was going to happen, and in the aftermath was very emotional at how events played out for her grandson.

During his brief time in Knock airport Pope Francis made a substantial effort to great many of the children who had gathered in the rain to greet him with flags and a cheer.

The Pope then travelled by cavalcade to Knock shrine where some 45,000 people are expected. His departure from Dublin airport and his arrival iMayo was shown to the crowds gathered at the shrine on large screens.

Events have been taking place at the shrine from shortly before 8.30am this morning when church bells across the diocese rang out.

During his time in the village this morning, the Pope travelled through the shrine grounds in the Popemobile, and he will visit the Apparition Chapel in the grounds of the famous basilica.

He is expected to light a candle and present rosary beads to the shrine at around 10.20am. 

All eyes will be on the Pope when he delivers an address from the lectern, and he will then lead the assembly in praying the Angelus in Latin. That will conclude with an Apostolic blessing.

Shortly before 11am, he will be accompanied to his car and he will then depart for Ireland West Airport for his journey back to Dublin.

Aer Lingus operated specially chartered flights for the visit. The Papal flag and the Irish tricolour will be flown from the cockpit for both pushback and landing in both Dublin and Knock airports today.

The Pope is due to arrive in the Phoenix Park at 2.30pm when he will spend half an hour moving through the 500,000 strong congregation before the closing mass of the World Meeting of Families begins.

The first day of his visit to Ireland garnered international headlines with news outlets around the world reporting on his 90 minute meeting with abuse survivors on Saturday evening.

The Pope compared those who abuse children with human excrement according to survivors present at the meeting.

Meanwhile, at home Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s speech at the civic reception held in Dublin Castle has been well received.

The Fine Gael leader used his address to condemn the Magdalene Laundries, Mother and Baby Homes and clerical child abuse as “stains” on the State and Church.

Read more here:

Tailbacks of 8km and a sheet of rain greet early-morning pilgrims at Knock ahead of Papal visit

Half a million to attend Mass at Phoenix Park

Actions will be test of new covenant

Ireland 'touches the heart' of Pope Francis during return visit

Half a million to attend Mass at Phoenix Park

Survivors tell how Pope was shocked at their harrowing stories of abuse

Pope Francis warns families of 'threat' posed by social media at uplifting Croke Park concert

'Those who abuse children are s**t' - Pope Francis tells Irish abuse victims 

In Pictures: Thousands line the streets as Pope Francis visits Ireland 

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