Half a million people book tickets to see Pope Francis

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• 15,000 people will be overseas visitors

• Over half of those registered to attend the World Meeting of Families in the RDS are parents with children under 18 years of age.

World Meeting of Families 2018 announced last night that all 500,000 tickets to see the Pope at the Closing Mass in the Phoenix Park have been booked out.

Nearly half of those planning to attend the final mass gave an address in Dublin, with the rest even spread out across Ireland.

The free tickets went live for booking on Monday 25 June at 5.00am and within the first 24 hours 285,000 tickets were booked.

Just 24 hours later the bookings had risen to 400,000.

Strong demand for tickets since then has seen several thousand bookings per day with the last of the tickets being booked today, just short of two weeks since their release date.

Father Timothy Bartlett, Secretary General of the WMOF2018, made a particular appeal for those coming to the Mass in Phoenix Park to plan their journey well in advance.

“We are working with the Gardai and other authorities to make the WMOF2018 a joyful, welcoming and comfortable event. But it is vital everybody thinks through how they will get to and from the Mass, what they will bring with them in terms of seating, clothing and food.

“There will be lots of facilities in the Park, including water, food outlets and toilets. There will also be lots of music, singing and other activities before and after Pope Francis is there. However, families and individuals should try to come with groups where they can.

“They should try to use coaches and public transport to reduce the impact on the environment and pressure on the roads.

“Parish groups and others need to come together and figure out how they can help those who are on their own or who need extra help physically getting to the site of the Mass.

“Now is the time to start planning. Now is the time to come together as the family of families to help one another prepare for and enjoy this incredible, historic event, which Pope Francis will celebrate with us.”