Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Councillor Tony Dempsey and Mayor of Wexford Councillor Ger Carty have this afternoon signed a formal letter of invitation to His Holiness Pope Francis, inviting the Holy Father to visit County Wexford as part of his forthcoming proposed visit to Ireland.
The invitation comes as hopes rise of a possible papal visit to Ireland in 2018. It is understood that the Pontiff’s representative in Dublin, Archbishop Charles Brown has already held high-level talks with senior Government figures here and there is now increasing confidence in relation to the possibility of a papal visit to Ireland, the first since 1979.
The logistical challenges surrounding a visit by the Pontiff to Wexford are considerable, and the invitation by Wexford County Council is evidence of the local authority’s full support of the ambitious plan to secure the Model County as part of a possible 2018 papal visit itinerary.
Speaking at the signing of the Letter of Invitation, Cathaoirleach of Wexford County Council, Councillor Tony Dempsey said:
“As the possibility of a 2018 papal visit to Ireland increases, we join with people all over Ireland in praying for its success. Wexford County Council, on behalf of the people of Wexford, would be honoured to support a visit by His Holiness to our County and we pledge to do our utmost to help make this ambitious plan a reality”.
Mayor of Wexford Councillor Ger Carty also expressed confidence in the suitability of County Wexford as a possible location for the probable papal visit.
“Naturally we would be honoured and delighted to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to Wexford, should his itinerary allow” said Mayor Carty. “We are blessed in having a very ancient Marian pilgrimage site in the diocese – Our Lady’s Island – renowned for its tranquillity and unspoilt setting. It would make a most fitting and unique location for a visit by His Holiness and would be a wonderful recognition of Lady’s Island which is such a special place and which has been a place of pilgrimage and prayer for centuries.”
Dates of a possible visit by Pope Francis to Ireland in 2018 have been announced as 22 to 26 August 2018, coinciding with the World Meeting of Families, which will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Dublin during these dates.