Gardaí urge Pope-goers to leave cars at home

pope francis galway

An Garda Síochana and the National Transport Authority have advised people to leave their cars at home for Pope Francis’ Masses in Phoenix Park and Knock.

“For those going to Knock, take public transport, get on a coach or car share,” they said in a statement this afternoon.

The Pontiff visits Dublin and Knock on the weekend of 25 and 26 August on the invitation of the World Meeting of Families 2018.


Road closures will be in place from 6pm on the Saturday evening and from 6pm on Saturday the centre of Knock Village will be closed (except to residents).

The N17 between Charlestown and Claremorris will be closed from 12 midnight on Saturday until at least 3pm on Sunday.

For those who live and work near Knock, a business and community liaison team is in place to handle queries, working closely with Claremorris Garda Station.

The Gardaí are advising people to get on a private coach or carpool to and from the event as car park spaces are limited and may be some walking distance from the Shrine.

Coaches will have a designated parking area on the N17 and this will result in the shortest distance to walk to and from the Knock Shrine via a short walkway.

There is a considerable walk from the car parks due to the size, scale and location of the event and there will be no shuttle bus facility available between car parks and the event site.

If cars are necessary, carpooling and car sharing is essential.

A bus shuttle service will operate from Claremorris train station to take people to Knock shrine.  For those who have a ticket for the event, the bus shuttle service will be free.

There will be no public viewing opportunities at Knock Airport and it will not be possible for the public to view Pope Francis arriving or departing due to security limitations.

Those flying into and out of Ireland West Airport Knock on Sunday will have some access with strict limitations.  Only those named on airline passenger lists and those transporting named passengers will be able to access the airport between 12 midnight on Saturday and 11.30am on Sunday

Speaking on this matter, Garda Superintendent Thomas Murphy said: “This is the largest event Ireland has organised in nearly 40 years.

“It simply will not be possible to accommodate all the people who have indicated they want to travel by car to the Mass.

Therefore we are urging people to go by train, bus, coach or Luas to this event. While walking is inevitable, you will be minimising your walk to and from the event by taking public transport or private coaches.”