Galway Racecourse to mark pope's canonisation

Wednesday 05 March 2014 22.50
1 of 2
Pope John Paul II is to be declared a saint next month
Pope John Paul II is to be declared a saint next month
Parts of the canonisation ceremony in the Vatican will be shown on a big screen at the race course
Parts of the canonisation ceremony in the Vatican will be shown on a big screen at the race course

An open-air mass is to be held at Galway Racecourse next month to mark the canonisation of Pope John Paul II.

The event will take place on Sunday 27 April, the same day the late pontiff is to be declared a saint at a ceremony in Rome.

The mass will be celebrated by Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan, with several bishops from other western dioceses expected to attend.

Parts of the canonisation ceremony in the Vatican will be shown on a big screen, along with highlights of the late pope's visit to Ballybrit in 1979, when he made his famous "young people of Ireland I love you" remark.

Galway Racecourse manager John Moloney said the papal visit was a special event in the history of the city and one that was fondly remembered by thousands of people.

A cross used on the day of his visit is still at the racecourse and a bust of the pope was commissioned in 2004 to mark the silver anniversary of his arrival at Ballybrit.

More than 250,000 people attended the mass in Galway on 30 September 1979.