No Papal Visit until after the 2016 General Election

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is greeted by Pope Francis at the Vatican


However, growing tensions between the Fine Gael and Labour coalition partners could lead to an earlier general election meaning that a visit by the Pope could take place sooner.

Another consideration is the Pope’s perceived weakness in speaking English which would make communication difficult and would limit the public-speaking parts of his engagements in Ireland.

It is understood that a Papal visit by Francis (77) would be shorter and less intense than the 59-year-old Polish Pontiff’s 1979 trip.


However, there would be at least on engagement in both jurisdictions with the Holy See acutely aware of importance such a visit would have in boosting the peace process.

Last week Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore told the Dáil that “the Government would hope that were Pope Francis to visit Ireland, he would also take the opportunity to visit Northern Ireland”.

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