Friday the 26th of February the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Popemobile will give Dublin crowds a view of pontiff

Pope Francis will travel a considerable distance through Dublin city centre this weekend in his popemobile, past projected crowds of around 100,000.

Saturday afternoon will mark the general public’s first opportunity to see Pope Francis, according to Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy.

Mr Leahy said the public journey will take place after the pope finishes at the Pro-Cathedral at around 4.15pm.

The route will go south on O’Connell Street, across O’Connell Bridge, up Westmoreland Street, and continuing up Dame Street.

The route will then pass Christchurch Cathedral, go down Bridge Street and back across the Liffey onto Church Street to the Capuchin Day Centre, where he will meet with homeless people and families.

It is not known how many security force vehicles and personnel will accompany the motorcade as Gardai have refused to discuss details for security reasons.

Gardai have said they expect up to 100,000 people in the city centre to view the motorcade, and AA Roadwatch have outlined a number of traffic restrictions.

They have urged anyone travelling into Dublin at the weekend to take public transport as there will be no car parking near Phoenix Park.

They have also warned anyone without a ticket for the events not to travel to Croke Park, Knock or Phoenix Park.

Arwen Foley of AA Roadwatch said: “Planning is key this weekend.

“Additional services will be made available across all public transport networks and we are strongly encouraging people to use them.”

She said: “The full length of the M50 and the M1 will be open as normal so once on the motorways, there will be no problem getting to Dublin Airport.

“The Port Tunnel and Tom Clarke Bridge (East Link) will also be open, so anyone wishing to travel between the north and south sides of the city is advised to use these routes.”

There will be specially created park and ride hubs at Leopardstown Racecourse, UCD Belfield and Maynooth University.

Most of the road closures in Dublin will be on Sunday as Pope Francis will be the main celebrant at the final mass in Phoenix Park at 3pm.

Major restrictions will be in place around Phoenix Park, stretching for a number of kilometres in the city centre.

Picture: Pope Francis arrives to lead his general audience in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 20th June. Also pictured in the popemobile is Cardinal Giuseppe Betori of Florence, Italy. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).