Security measures have been put in place to ensure that tickets for the visits by Pope Francis to the Phoenix Park and Knock Shrine are not sold on by touts.

The organisers of the World Meeting of Families (WMOF), which the Pope will attend in August, said that while voluntary contributions will be welcome when tickets are made available online next Monday, anybody attempting to sell the free tickets should be reported to gardaí.

WMOF Secretary General Fr Tim Bartlett outlined the details surrounding ticket allocations to the general public for two of the three major events at which Pope Francis will be officiating on the last weekend of August.

He said that in line with arrangements made months ago, most seats for the other event, the Festival of Families at Croke Park on Saturday 25 August, have already been allocated.

Most of these were allocated to the record-breaking 34,000 people who had registered for the triennial Meeting's three-day congress that is scheduled for the RDS earlier that week. 

Pope Francis will visit Knock, Co Mayo where he will recite the Angelus

At least one family from every parish in Ireland, and marginalised groups such as addicts and organisations working with them, are also being allocated tickets for Croke Park, because, as Fr Bartlett said, "they are the people the pope wants to be closest to".

On Monday 25 June, more than 45,000 tickets will be offered online through the World Meeting's website for the pontiff's Sunday visit to the Marian Shrine at Knock, Co Mayo where he will recite the Angelus.

They will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis and the organisers will print and post them to successful applicants.

The tickets for Knock will not be transferable and each will have a barcode identifying the legitimate holder.

Tickets will also be made available on Monday for the mass at the Phoenix Park, which will have capacity for 500,000 people.

The Government has urged anyone interested in attending either event at Knock or the Phoenix Park to get a ticket once registration for the WMOF opens.

People have been urged to remember that you can only attend one event, as you will not be able to get tickets for both.

Anyone attending either event has been advised to plan their route well in advance, and to prepare themselves for a long day, given that disruption for the events is "unavoidable".

Those attending are advised to take public or group transport.

In a statement, a Government spokesperson said all efforts are being made to ensure that any disruption to businesses and individuals due to the visit is minimised.

The statement added that alternative arrangements are being developed for the visit, and those affected by the arrangements will be notified in advance.

The Government urged people to plan their whole journey from the beginning of the day until returning home, and has reminded people they are likely to be standing for a long period of time.

There will be a range of supports at both events, such as rest zones, welfare areas and medical facilities.

A team of volunteers will also be on hand to assist those those making the journey, but anyone with any pre-existing medical conditions have been advised to talk to their doctor before attending either event.

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