By Susan Gately - 13 July, 2018
People who don’t have tickets to the see the Pope in the Phoenix Park and who now wish to do so should contact their parishes to see if they have extra tickets, according to the Media and Communications Manager for the World Meeting of Families. Last weekend it was announced that all 500,000 tickets for the Papal Mass on 26 August 2018 had been booked.
“The only way we could see there being some additional tickets available would be if parishes return small numbers of tickets from group bookings,” Brenda Drumm told CatholicIreland.net, but she added this was unlikely. “It is more likely that it [a ticket] will be passed on within the parish rather than returned to us. We are not operating a waiting list as we are not expecting any significant returns of bookings for any of the events.”
Ms Drumm agreed that “there may still be some parishes with places on coaches and a linked ticket for Phoenix Park”.
Reiterating that a robust system was in place, and that false bookings made through the ‘Say nope to the pope’ campaign did not impact on the official bookings, she said the WMOF would issue “500,000 genuine tickets by 31 July”.
The ticket allocation of 500,000 has been set in consultation with the various organisations of the State, according to WMOF18. “This number is based on the security, transport, logistics and support services that are available. It is also based on the support infrastructure that is in place to help us move 500,000 people in and out of the Phoenix Park on the day,” said Ms Drumm, adding that Dublin City had to remain “open for business and for those not attending the event to move about freely and without too much inconvenience”.
She said that “500,000 is what we are permitted in our ticket issue and while we know this might leave some people disappointed, we were happy to take the advice of the organisations of the state on this and to keep the care and comfort of all those attending in mind as well.”
While the Phoenix Park is a huge public park, the organisers of the WMOF insist that no one should come along on spec without a ticket. The periphery spaces and routes outside the Papal Mass venue “are vital to the ingress and egress of people to and from the ticketed sites. There will be no congregating in these spaces as they are the routes in and out. This is especially relevant to the Phoenix Park,” said the Communications Manager.
Ms Drumm explained that people would be guided by colour routes assigned to them at the time of their ticket issue. “These routes will be based on where they are travelling from on the day of the Mass in the park.”
The World Meeting of Families has welcomed an initiative being proposed by some parishes to gather people together to have a communal watching of some of the papal events.
Thirty-seven thousand people have registered for the Pastoral Congress in advance of the Festival of Families and Papal Mass. This is the highest number of bookings ever for a WMOF pastoral congress.