Pope John Paul II expresses gratitude for the welcome he received during his visit to Ireland.

Pope John Paul II expressed his gratitude to the Irish people for the welcome they gave him on his 1979 visit to Ireland by paying a special visit to the Irish College in Rome. This was the first visit by a pope to an Irish college in 120 years.

The Pope was welcomed to the college on Coelian Hill on 13 January 1980 by Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich and a contingent of bishops, college staff and students. The current premises was opened in this location in 1926, close to the basilica of St John Lateran. The original Irish College was founded by Cardinal Ludivico Ludovisi and located in the via degli Ibernesi.

Fr Romuald Dodd reports on the papal visit in this extract from 'Church Worldwide', broadcast on 27 January 1980.