Visit of Pope Francis to Ireland West Airport

Longford Leader Reporter

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Visit of Pope Francis to Ireland West Airport

Ireland West Airport are looking forward to the historic visit of Pope Francis to the airport on this Sunday 26th August.

It was following the first ever Papal visit to Ireland in 1979, when Pope John Paul II visited Knock Marian Shrine, that Monsignor Horan began his campaign to build an international airport in Mayo close to the Shrine. 39 Years later the airport is now the fourth busiest in the country, with flights to 24 international destinations worldwide and with record passenger numbers of close to 800,000 expected this year it’s a fitting tribute to his legacy that Pope Francis will touch down at Ireland West Airport on his visit West.

The airport can confirm the following timeline for the Popes arrival into the West of Ireland.

* 08:45 Pope Francis departs Dublin Airport with Aer Lingus

* 09:20 Pope Francis arrives at Ireland West Airport and is greeted by a welcoming party

* 09:30 Pope Francis departs for Knock Shrine

* 11:10 Pope Francis arrives back to Ireland West Airport

* 11:15 Pope Francis departs for Dublin Airport

On arrival at Ireland West Airport Pope Francis will be greeted by a delegation of airport representatives, members of the clergy and local dignitaries. Also at the airport will be 100 local school children who will welcome the Pope to the West of Ireland.

The popes visit to Ireland is expected to be viewed by over 1.3 billion people worldwide with over 75 national and International media arriving at the airport on Sunday 26th August, which represents a fantastic opportunity to showcase the West of Ireland and in particular Ireland West Airport as the international gateway to Knock Shrine and the West of Ireland.

Speaking ahead of a historic visit to the West of Ireland, Joe Gilmore, Managing Director of Ireland West Airport said “It will be a historic occasion to welcome Pope Francis on Sunday for what will be a historic first papal visit to the airport and the realisation of the vision of the airport founder Monsignor Horan. This will be a truly historic occasion and will showcase the airport, Knock Shrine and indeed the West of Ireland to a global audience of over a billion worldwide which will have a hugely positive impact for tourism to the region’.

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PLAN

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.

ROAD CLOSURES

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

CLOSURE OF ROAD INTO THE AIRPORT

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 closure