Taoiseach's 'hopes' for NI pope visit

Taoiseach's 'hopes' for NI pope visit

The Taoiseach has said he hopes Pope Francis could go to Northern Ireland, should he accept an invitation to visit the Republic of Ireland.

Enda Kenny revealed he has invited the Pontiff to Ireland, while attending the canonisation of the Pope John Paul II and John XXIII in Rome on Sunday.It comes after the Irish senate unanimously agreed to formally invite the pope to Ireland last month.Mr Kenny said that if the invitation was accepted he would hope Pope Francis would also travel to Northern Ireland during his visit.Earlier this month, Belfast City Council voted to extend an invite to the pope should he ever visit the Republic.The only papal visit to the island was in September 1979 when more than a million people turned out to see Pope John Paul II in Dublin's Phoenix Park.A planned visit to Armagh was cancelled by the Vatican after the IRA murdered the Queen's cousin, Lord Mountbatten, and ambushed 18 soldiers a month earlier.


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