Pope John Paul II in Dublin: September 1979

Printer-friendly version

Pope John Paul IIPope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland in 1979 was seen as an acknowledgement of the strong faith of the Irish by the Vatican. The Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park on Saturday 29th September 1979 was the largest single public gathering in the history of the state.  In 1979 95.1% of the population of the Republic of Ireland was Catholic. In 2018, 78.3% consider themselves to be Catholic. During the Mass at the Phoenix Park, Pope John Paul II addressed and advised on the challenges he feared Ireland would face. He warned against the corrosive effect of consumerism and emphasised the indissolubility of marriage.

View Pope John Paul II in Dublin Image Gallery.


Pope Francis will visit a very different country in 2018. Divorce and Same Sex Marriage is legalized and the 8th Amendment has been repealed. The Irish economy has boomed (and busted) on a scale scarcely imaginable in 1979. Catholicism is still the dominant religion in Ireland but it is in decline. This image gallery documents Pope John Paul II’s visit to Dublin in September 1979.

This image gallery was created for Dublin City Public Libraries by Cindy Valdivia who carried out an internship at the Dublin City Library and Archive in 2018 while completing an M.Phil in Public History and Cultural Heritage in Trinity College, Dublin.




Barry, Dan. "The Pope's Visit: Notebook;One Kiss Per Nation, And Boston Got It." New York Times, October 5, 1995. https://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/05/nyregion/the-pope-s-visit-notebook-on....


Boland, Colm. "Selling folding chairs - in verse." Irish Times (Dublin), October 1, 1979, 21. http:////www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1001/Pg021.html#Ar02102.


Brady, Conor. "Haughey Takes Over." In The Guarding of Ireland: The Garda Síochána and the Irish State, 1960-2014, 131. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2014.


"The Civic Regalia | Dublin City Council." Welcome to Dublin City Council | Dublin City Council. Accessed April 10, 2018. http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menu-services-recreation-culture-dublin-city-public-libraries-and-archive-heritage-and-histo-36.


            Coyle, Raychel “Re: Papal Cross.” Message to author, 03 May 2018. E-mail.


"CPI Inflation Calculator - CSO - Central Statistics Office." Home - CSO - Central Statistics Office. Accessed May 5, 2018. https://www.cso.ie/en/interactivezone/visualisationtools/cpiinflationcal....


Dublin City Council. "Dublin City Coat of Arms." Dublin City Council. Accessed April 15, 2018. http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menu-your-council-lord-mayor-history/dubli....


Fleming, Edwin D. "Letters to the Editor: The Problem." Irish Times (Dublin), October 2, 1970, 13. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1002/Pg013.html#Ar01300.


Grogan, Dick. "Joy and Sadness in Inner city." Irish Times (Dublin), October 1, 1979, 15. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1001/Pg015.html#Ar01504.


Hamilton, Andrew. "Congratulations to Ford of Cork maker of the Popemoblie." Irish Times(Dublin), October 3, 1979, 15. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1003/Pg015.html#Ar01500.


Irish Independent (Dublin). "The Pope's visit: Our biggest ever mass movement." n.d. Life. https://www.independent.ie/life/the-popes-visit-our-biggest-ever-mass-mo....


Irish Times (Dublin). "Bishops short of £400,000." September 28, 1979, 1. http://ps://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/0928/Pg001.html#Ar....


Irish Times (Dublin). "Papal meeting called off too brief." October 4, 1979, 7. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1004/Pg007.html#Ar00702.


Irish Times (Dublin). "Pope "obliged" to uphold tradition." October 8, 1979, 7. http:// https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1008/Pg007.html#Ar00708.


Irish times (Dublin). "The Irish Times First Day Cover Service A Distinctive Commemorative Cover of the Occasion of the Viist of Pope John Paul II." October 1, 1979, 24. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1001/Pg024.html#Ad02416.


Irish Times (Dublin). "The Irish Times pictorial record of the visit to Ireland of Pope John Paul II." October 1, 1979, 20. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1001/Pg020.html#Ad02003.


Kunz, George Frederick. "The Religious Use of Rings." In Rings for the Finger, 263-265. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1917.


Manning, John. "Airport community remembers historic day." Irish Independent (Dublin), September 23, 2009. https://www.independent.ie/regionals/fingalindependent/lifestyle/airport....


McDonald, Frank. "Feely to retire next May after 17 years as Dublin City Manager." Irish Times(Dublin), January 6, 1996. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/feely-to-retire-next-may-after-17-years-....


McGarry, Patsy. "Nuncio quit Dublin role after bank accounts questioned." Irish Times (Dublin), September 22, 2012. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/nuncio-quit-dublin-role-after-bank-accou....


Mulvey, Gerry. ""For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" sings the press." Irish Times (Dublin), October 1, 1979, 23. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1001/Pg023.html#Ar02302.


Murphy, Sue. "Taoiseach Profile: Jack Lynch, Ireland's most popular Taoiseach?" Newstalk. Last modified December 10, 2015. https://www.newstalk.com/Taoiseach-Profile:-Jack-Lynch.


Nolan, Patrick. "Rigorous and demanding Papal Visit." Irish Times (Dublin ), September 4, 1979.


O'Connell, Peter, Sean O'Keeffe, and Mary Kenny. 3 Days in September: When the Pope Came to Irelandd. Dublin: Liberties Press, 2004.


O'Keeffe, Alan. "Pope's summer visit will never draw 1979 crowds." Independent (Dublin), March 25, 2018. https://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/popes-summer-visit-will-ne....


O'Leary, Olivia. "On way into Irish history." Irish Times (Dublin), October 1, 1979.


Pageboy, Douglas. "The Morning the Pope Flew In." Irish Times (Dublin), October 6, 1979, 8. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1006/Pg009.html#Ar00901.


Pope, John Paul II. The Pope in Ireland: Addresses and Homilies. Dublin: Veritas, 1979.


RTÉ. "Auction of Papal Materials." RTÉ Archives. Last modified November 12, 2014. https://www.rte.ie/archives/2014/1112/658826-auction-of-papal-materials/.


RTÉ. "Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich." RTÉ Archives. Last modified May 8, 2015. https://www.rte.ie/archives/2015/0508/699586-remembering-cardinal-tomas-....


RTÉ. "Fears over 1979 Papal Visit Revealed." RTÉ. Last modified December 30, 2009. https://www.rte.ie/news/2009/1230/125835-pope/.


RTÉ. "Itinerary For The Pope's Visit." RTÉ Archives. Last modified August 28, 2014. https://www.rte.ie/archives/2014/0828/639956-itinerary-for-the-popes-vis....


RTÉ. "Journalists Sing to Pope on Irish Visit." RTÉ Archives. Last modified September 29, 2014. https://www.rte.ie/archives/2014/0929/648641-journalists-sing-to-pope-on....


RTÉ. "The Eucharistic Congress 1932." RTÉ Archives. Last modified February 17, 2012. https://www.rte.ie/archives/exhibitions/681-history-of-rte/683-rte-1930s....


Ryan, Dermot, Martin Tierney, John Donat, and Patrick Mastereson. The Phoenix Park Dublin 29th September 1979 The Pastoral Visit of Pope John Paul II, 1st ed. Dublin: The Academy Press, 1980.


Vatican. "Coat of Arms of His Holiness John Paul II." Vatican. Last modified September 6, 2013. http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/documentazione/documents/sp_ss....


Walsh, Dick. "President says "I am not resigning"." Irish Times (Dublin), October 4, 1979, 1. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/1004/Pg001.html#Ar00100.


Walsh, Dick. "Security to cost £1.5m." Irish Times (Dublin), September 22, 1979, 6. https://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/archive/1979/0922/Pg006.html#Ar00608.

Add new comment