Well-known TV personality Norah Casey has taken on the task of raising around €15 million to finance the WMOF in August.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live, the former dragon said Pope Francis had given her back her faith. “Like most Irish people I have a chequered history with Catholicism,” she said, going from “cradle Catholic” to divorce, IVF and “falling out with the Catholic Church when my husband died” and ultimately returning “back into Catholicism”.
The WMOF is slated to cost €20 million, with €5 million coming from church collections like the national collection this weekend. Ms Casey and teams of fundraisers, also in the US, aim to raise the balance.
Private funding through suitable corporates and individuals, means “taxpayers don’t have to pay for it” and “high profile people who do like this Pope very much” including members of other faiths can contribute, she said.
Unlike the visit of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, the WMOF will bring “tens of thousands of people to Ireland,” said Ms Casey. “I do think that his [the Pope’s] visit to Ireland will be pretty monumental.”