Friday 20 September 2019

Pope soared above faithful in Phoenix Park

WHEN NEWS came thirty years ago that Pope John Paul II was to visit Ireland, Arklow was no different to any other town and saw a large number of people set off to Dublin, Knock and Galway to see the Pontiff.

Among these were Dorothy Rees and her sisters Julie Kenny and Patricia Doyle who visited the Phoenix Park.

'We caught the train at 3 a.m. and nearly missed it as I slept it out. The conductor saw us running and waited for us.

'We walked from the station to the Phoenix Park and there we were sent into sections in small numbers. As the altar was raised everyone had a good enough view,' she says.

With the crowd in place by noon the excitement heightened when the Pope's plane flew overhead.

'Everyone stood up and waved their flags in anticipation. It was a very exciting moment and we really enjoyed the day. It was an event never to be repeated,' added Dorothy.

'Afterwards there were buses arranged to take us back to the train station. There were so many queues we decided to walk and I remember our feet were so tired we took our shoes off along the way.'