By Cian Molloy - 04 November, 2018
The Dublin diocesan social support agency Crosscare has taken charge of the Skoda Rapid saloon car that was used by Pope Francis during his visit to the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August.
The saloon was handed over to Crosscare chief executive Conor Hickey by Skoda manager Cathal Kelly on Friday. The vehicle was donated to the charity to help its work with homeless families.
Eagle-eyed observers will notice that the final four digits of the car registration 182-D-9093, spell out the word “Pope” in inverted letters. Another distinguishing feature is that the bonnet of blue Rapid is fitted with a small flag pole on the passenger side.
Skoda Ireland was the official car partner of WMoF2018 and the Papal visit to Ireland, a role that the car company relished. To join in with the World Meeting of Families celebrations the car company produced a concept car with stained glass windows – the Karoq was beautiful to look at but not so good for driving!
As well as providing His Holiness with his own personal car, Skoda also provided logistical services to WMoF2018 dignitaries, with a fleet of Superb, Karoq and Octavia vehicles.
Crosscare will use its nearly new Rapid (only one previous owner) mainly to assist homeless families move to more secure, long-term accommodation from the Crosscare homeless hub facility based at Mater Dei College. But the car may be pressed into assist with other Crosscare services from time to time. As well as services for the homeless, the charity operates food banks, youth services, community services and projects to help those with drug and alcohol problems.