THE Vatican’s representative to Ireland has not ruled out a visit by Pope Francis to Cork when he visits the country this year but has said a decision on his itinerary will be decided by Church officials.
Cork County Council wrote to Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo in October to request that the head of the Catholic Church visit Cork when he arrives in Ireland in August - he is visiting the country as part of the World Meeting of Families which is being hosted in Dublin.
Pope John Paul did not come to Cork the last time the Church leader visited the country in 1979. Over 2.5 million people attended events in Dublin, Drogheda, Clonmacnoise, Galway, Knock and Maynooth. Cllr Frank O’Flynn (FF) said Cork cannot afford to miss out again.
“Everybody is looking forward to the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland,” said Mr O’Flynn.
“I personally feel that Cork, being the largest county in Ireland and the second largest city, the Pope should visit here.
“The first thing they’d look for is a venue. I think Páirc Uí Chaoimh would be ideal as it was when ‘the Boss’ Bruce Springsteen came and filled it out.
“Mallow Racecourse would also be an ideal venue, as would Fota. We have major venues here in Cork. These are vast areas and we have improved road networks.
“I don’t want Cork city and county to lose out on this occasion as we did in 1979.”