Fr Richard Gibbons

  • The 45,000 pilgrims that will be in Knock shrine tomorrow morning for the historic visit of Pope Francis have a very good chance of seeing the Pope within a reasonable distance as a large part of his one hour visit to the Shrine will be spent in the Pope mobile travelling through the crowds.

    That’s according to the Parish Priest of Knock Fr Richard Gibbons.

    There was huge disappointment in 1979 when Pope John Paul II arrived an hour and a half late in Knock from Ballybrit and as a result abandoned the scheduled pope mobile drive through the more than 300,000 that had gathered on the say.

  • The annual Knock Novena will go ahead in August but it will be a lot different to other years.

    The Parish Priest of Knock Fr. Richard Gibbons says they had a meeting this afternoon but they have yet to make a decision around the whole operation of the Novena.

    He says it will go ahead but it could be in an online capacity and they need more specific details before confirming their plan of action.

    It's after the government told local authorities not to allow events with more than 5 thousand people up to the end of August.

    Fr. Richard says Knock Shrine is not in the best place financially at present.

  • The Cathaoirleach of Mayo couynty council Richard Finn was among the many Mayo people who wrote to Pope Francis to extend an invitation to him, to visit Knock on his planned visit to Ireland in August for the World Meeting of Families.

    At yesterday’s monthly meeting of Mayo county council the Cathaoirleach welcomed the news that Pope Francis will visit the Marian Shrine on August 26th and said that it was wonderful news too that he will be travelling through Ireland West Airport Knock.

    Earlier this year, Cathaoirleach  Finn had requested that 100,000 euro in funding be set aside by Mayo county council as a contingency fund should Pope Francis visit the Municipal District area of Claremorris. That money is now in place.

    Richard Finn told Midwest News that the councillors are proud to host Pope Francis in their Municipal District.

  • Covid-19 testing is commercially available at Ireland West Airport Knock now.

    Air passengers, members of the public and local businesses can avail of the walk-in service.

    It is operated by RocDoc, who run similar drive-thru testing facilities at Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports.

    Two tests are available - however one called a LAMP is not recognised to be used for travel by the EU.

    Chief Executive, David Rock, says the centre will have the capacity to test a large number of people.

    The Parish Priest of Knock, Fr Richard Gibbons was the first person to be tested at the new facility today that opened at 12 noon.

    Fr Gibbons described the test as not difficult and adds to the sense of safety for people travelling this yuletide.

    Speaking to Midwest News he said it's difficult to see the airport closed at present, but said in a few days time it will be back in operation, however, traffic through it will be significantly down this Christmas compared to recent years, due to the pandemic.


  • Hairdressers and barbers will be prioritised for re-opening next month, along with places of worship.

    The Taoiseach also told his party last night that click-and-collect and non-essential retail are likely to resume in May.

    Micheál Martin also confirmed he hopes to reopen the entire construction sector next month.

    Meanwhile, priests are welcoming the possibility of churches opening next month.

    Fr Richard Gibbons, Parish Priest of Knock, is pleased with the move and says churches are ready to reopen in a safe manner...

  • At their meeting later today, public health officials will consider whether to increase the limit on the number of people attending Mass and religious services.

    It follows criticism from the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who claims larger churches and cathedrals should be able to fit more people than to 50 currently permitted.

    Health minister Simon Harris told the Dáil last night he broadly agreed, and is seeking further guidance from the National Public Health Emergency Team today.

    Meanwhile the restriction of 50 on numbers attending Masses have led to changes in the way Knock Shrine plans to reopen next week.

    The Shrine had intended to hold daily Mass in the Basilica, but instead, Masses next week will be held three times per day in the Parish Church, on a first come-first served basis.

    Parish Priest of Knock Fr Richard Gibbons says that, due to the cap of 50 currently in place, Masses will be held at 12 noon, 3pm and 7.30 pm next week.

    Once larger numbers are allowed to attend, Masses will then move to the Basilica, and tickets will have to be pre-booked online.


  • The Parish Priest of Knock Fr Richard Gibbons has announced today that the National Novena to Our Lady of Knock is postponed until perhaps later this year, depending on latest Government guidance.

    The Novena that began in 1977 and has continued in unbroken tradition since.

    The Novena is a national and international event that takes place every year from the 14 – 22 August and attracts as many as 150,000 pilgrims.

    It is a time of prayer that offers pilgrims a variety of guest speakers who reflect upon faith and contemporary society.

    Fr. Richard stated that “Having discussed at length the logistics, health and safety of organising the Novena, it is with heavy hearts that we have decided to postpone it.  After careful assessment of all aspects in line with current government guidelines, we feel that this is the right thing to do.

    This has been a very difficult decision that will cause a great deal of disappointment to pilgrims, it also has economic consequences for the wider community and the Shrine itself. However, the health and safety of our parishioners, pilgrims, priests, staff and volunteers is of paramount importance to us at this worrying time.

  • It has not been confirmed by Rome, and it remains speculation but the Parish Priest of Knock remains hopeful that Pope Francis will visit Knock Shrine this August.

    Despite a front page story in today’s Irish Independent that Pope Francis hopes to begin his historic visit to Ireland this August in Knock, flying in from Rome to Ireland West Airport Knock, Fr Gibbons told Midwest Radio today that there is no new news from Rome. While he remains hopeful that it will happen, he said he had no concrete evidence to say that it will.

    According to the paper there has been much speculation about the type of welcome the Pope will receive - but sources say gardaí have concerns that as many as 650,000 people will want to see him in the Phoenix Park on August 26.By holding another event at Knock a day earlier they hope to offer an alternative viewing opportunity for people.

    The Vatican tends to remain tight-lipped about the Pope's itinerary until shortly before he travels to a country.

    Fr Gibbons said while he is hopeful that the Pope will visit the Shrine, a visit has not been confirmed.

  • The reopening of the parish Church and Apparition Chapel at Knock Shrine is being delayed until the first weekend in May.

    Refurbishment works have been taking place over the Winter at the two churches, and all Masses and ceremonies were moved temporarily to the Basilica.

    It was initially planned to reopen the Parish Church and Apparition Chapel for Easter, but bad weather over the Winter has delayed works, and the reopening has now been pushed out to the first weekend in May – which also marks the start of the Summer season at Knock Shrine.

    Parish priest of Knock Fr Richard Gibbons says the completion of refurbishment works has run over by about four weeks….