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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Papal visit sights and sounds: Pope Francis has left Ireland

Update: 6.30pm Pope Francis has boarded his flight home to Rome after a world wind two-day visit to Ireland.

Pope Francis leaving on an Aer Lingus aircraft from Dublin Airport back to the Vatican putting an end to his visit to Ireland. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to crew members at Dublin Airport prior to the departure of Pope Francis back to the Vatican putting an end to his visit to Ireland. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Pope Francis leaves Phoenix Park for Dublin Airport

People at the Lough Church, Cork, watching the Papal Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

Picture: David Keane

Picture: David Keane

Update - 4.31pm: World Meeting of Families closing mass continues at Phoenix Park

PIC: POOL PIC, MAXWELLS ON BEHALF OF WMOF18

Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Pope Francis during the closing mass of his Ireland visit at the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Pope Francis during the closing mass of his Ireland visit at the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President Micheal D. Higgins attending the World Meeting of Famillies closing cermony mass at Phoenix Park.

PIC: POOL PIC, MAXWELLS ON BEHALF OF WMOF18

Update - 3.00pm: World Meeting of Families closing mass is underway.

Update - 2.50pm: Aerial photos of the crowds at Phoenix Park.

Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Update - 2.30pm Pope Francis has arrived at Phoenix Park.

Pope Francis arrives prior to the commencement of the closing mass of his Ireland visit at the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Pope Francis arrives prior to the commencement of the closing mass of his Ireland visit at the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Update - 12.46pm: Severe downpours have failed to dampen the spirits of pilgrims trekking to see the Pope.

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Jack Heffernan and Josh McGuerin, West Meath running through the water on their way to see Pope Francis saying mass at Phoenix Park, Dublin. Picture Dan Linehan

Tens of thousands of people are making their way to Dublin's Phoenix Park where he will say Mass at 3.30pm.

Update - 12.03pm Pope Francis arrives back in Dublin ahead of mass in the Phoenix Park.

Audrey Elliott with the signed Co Mayo jersey by Pope Francis at Ireland West Airport, Knock in County Mayo, which she hopes will lift the Mayo 'curse' so the team can win an All-Ireland title.

Photo: Cate McCurry/PA Wire

Pope Francis took the time to stop and sign a Mayo jersey for a fan before leaving Knock.

Update - 10.18am: Pope Francis has arrived at the Knock Shrine and is touring the grounds in his Popemobile.

It is the second one being used in Ireland during his visit.

Francis waved to well-wishers as he was driven past the flag-waving crowds.

Pope Francis arrives for his visit to Knock Holy Shrine. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

[h2]Update - 10am: Pope met by local schoolchildren in Knock[/h2]

Pope Francis has departed Knock Aiport and is en route to the Shrine where he will be greeted by 45,000 pilgrims.

The Pontiff was met at the airport by around 100 schoolchildren from Co Mayo as he landed in heavy rain.

Meanwhile, attendees are eagerly awaiting the Pontiff's arrival at the wet and blustery Knock Shrine which is dominated by an enormous Celtic-style cross.

Earlier, the crowd sang Ave Maria and waved blue Knock flags while listening to the tale of 15 ordinary people who witnessed the apparition.

Pope Francis blesses schoolchildren as he arrives at Knock Aiport. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

[h2]Earlier: Early crowds brave the rain in Knock[/h2]

It is day two of the Pope’s trip to Ireland, with 500,000 people due to attend mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park later today.

Pilgrims arrive at Knock Holy Shrine. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Before that, the Pontiff will fly to Knock Shrine in Mayo this morning, arriving at 9.45am to deliver a short address and to say the Angelus to 45,000 people.

Pilgrims arrived early to queue for entry to the Shrine, braving the rain with umbrellas.

Some people were taking the showers in their stride.

Pilgrims arrive at Knock well prepared for the rain. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

While others seemed less impressed.

A young boy ponders in the rain as he waits for Pope Francis' arrival at Knock Shrine. Photo: Ray Ryan

Preparations are being made back in Dublin for the Pope's return this afternoon, where he will say Mass to 500,000 people in Phoenix Park at 3.30pm.

Gardai, stewards and volunteers are already on the streets in preparation, while people are advised to prepare for wet conditions as rain sweeps across the country.

Digital Desk