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All you need to know for Pope’s visit

On Sunday 26 August 2018, Pope Francis will make a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland in County Mayo.

At 8.25am on the morning of Sunday August 26th, the bells of Knock Shine will ring out.

Starting from 8.30am, there will be an uplifting Gathering Event entitled Witness to Faith and Family. With video presentations, drama and music pilgrims will be led in prayer and reflection until the arrival of the Holy Father. Focus will be on the story of Knock through the testimony of the Apparition witnesses and Pope Francis’ invitation to witness to the joy of faith and family in our contemporary world. Music for the occasion will be provided by Knock Parish Choir with guest musicians and soloists Sibéal Ní Chasáide and Anne Marie Gibbons.

Upon arrival at the Shrine at 9.45am, the Holy Father will move through the assembly in the Pope Mobile arriving at the Apparition Gable towards 10am where he will be met by the Rector of the Shrine Father Richard Gibbons.

His Holiness will spend some time in silent prayer at the site of the Apparition before exiting the chapel to deliver a short address and lead pilgrims in the Angelus Prayer and imparting his Apostolic Blessing before departing for Ireland West Airport, Knock at 11.15am and returning to Dublin.

Directly after the Holy Father has departed the Shrine, there will be a concelebrated open-air Mass for the Twenty First Sunday of Ordinary Time. Father Richard Gibbons will be the main celebrant and the Mass will be concluded by 12.30/1pm. This spiritual programme is part of the official ticketed event.

Traffic Arrangements for Knock Visit

An Garda Siochana have provided the following information for those travelling to Knock on Sunday:

The maximum distance that people will have to walk from the N17 (travelling by bus): 1km The maximum distance that people will have to walk from the dedicated Car Parks (travelling by car): 2km

N17: Road Closures will be in place from 12 midnight on Saturday 25th August. The N17 will be closed from Claremorris to Charlestown. It is envisaged that the N17 will reopen at approximately 3pm on Sunday 26th August.

Knock Village: Road closures will be in place from Burkes Pub Junction at 6pm on Saturday the 25th and there will be very limited access in Knock Village from 3am on Sunday 26th.

The top questions asked by persons who are travelling to the event are as follows:

Q: What if I don’t have a pass for the disabled car park in Knock Village.
A: Persons who do not have a disabled pass (issued by the World Meeting of Families) will have to utilise Car Park A (Kiltimagh Road) or Car Park B (Ballyhowley Junction).

Q: What is the maximum I have to walk if travelling by car or by bus?
A: 2km from car parks. 1km from N17.

Q: I am travelling by bus, is stop approval required for buses parking on the N17.
A: No, any buses travelling to the event will not require any stop approval.

Q: I am travelling to Ireland West Airport Knock on Sunday. What diversions are in place?
A: Please refer to the traffic management plan link below. Information about the event including diversions and access to Ireland West Airport Knock, is available here:…/visit-of-pope-francis-to-ireland-in-…

Q: What time will the car parks be open?
A: Approximately 3am

Q: What time will the Shrine be open?
A: 6am

Information for passengers using Ireland West Airport 

Ireland West Airport wish to advise passengers and those collecting passengers of important information for those travelling to and from the airport on the day. Please ensure you allow extra time for their journey, as there will be road diversions and closures in place on the N17 and roads are expected to be busy.


Those travelling to and from the airport on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August are advised that from 12 midnight on Saturday 25th August 2018 until approximately 3pm on Sunday 26th August 2018 the N17 from Charlestown to Claremorris will be closed. Patrons travelling to Ireland West Airport, Knock are advised of the following:


All access to the Airport from the junction of the Shammer/Bushfield Rd and R376 will be closed between the following times on Sunday the 26th of August to facilitate the arrival and departure of Pope Francis: The road into the airport will be closed between 8.45am and 9.45am & again from 10.45am to 11.30am and passengers travelling during these timeframes are advised to arrive earlier than normal to avoid delays and potential disruption to their travel. It is expected that there will be a significant  increase in traffic volume  on Sunday 26th August and passenger are advised to please plan more  time for travelling  to  the  airport,  for parking  and  check  in procedures at the airport. It is important that persons travelling to the airport follow diversion signs and disregard Sat-Nav instructions as this may lead drivers into further road closures.

Useful Links

Bus Eireann services information for Pope’s visit here

Irish Rail information here

Frequently asked questions for Knock visit here

You can view the Pope’s itinerary when in Ireland here

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