When Pope John Paul II was an hour and a half late arriving from Ballybrit to Knock Shrine in 1979, it was inevitable that despite meticulous pre planning “something had to give”, according to Fr Frank Fahy who was the curate in Knock at that time.

What “gave”, was the movement of the Pope through the 300,000 plus crowd that had gathered to see him and the event left many pilgrims bitterly disappointed.

Fr Fahy is now the Parish Priest in Ballintubber Abbey, and he has described the atmosphere among the multitudes gathered, in the wake of the Pope’s departure from Knock on the day, as “an anti climax”.

Fr Fahy spoke to Midwest News today about  his memories of the preparations that had been put in place for the historical first ever Papal visit to Knock Shrine 29 years ago this September.

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