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Pope's 'young people of Ireland' speech goes online

LARISSA NOLAN IRISH Catholics will now be able to access Pope John Paul II's famous 'Young People of Ireland' speech at the click of a mouse.

The pope's homilies deleivered at seven venues across the country can now be heard online, on the year's anniversary of the pontiff's death.

The recordings were requested from the Vatican by the Catholic Communications Office, who have put them on their website's archive.

Catholic Communications director Martin Long said: "It is a great legacy. Technology has made it possible for all future generations to hear the vibrancy and energy of the live performances.

"It is exactly like revisiting those days all over again. The late pope had a very evangelical and compassionate style that appealed to those of all ages."

Pope John Paul II visited Ireland in 1979. Ireland was the third visit of his pontificate and he was the first pope to come to this country.

During his three-day stay he visiting venues in Dublin, Drogheda, Clonmacnoise, Galway, Knock, Maynooth and Limerick.

More than 1.25 million people came to hear see him at Dublin's Phoenix Park, the biggest recorded congregation in Irish history.

And at a youth mass in Galway, his opening welcome - "Young people of Ireland, I love you" - endeared him to the younger generation.

Martin Long said: "It was a speech that seeped into the public's consciousness and left a lasting impression on the young people of the country."

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Catholics across the country will today celebrate anniversary masses for John Paul II, who died on April 2, 2005.

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