Fond memories of John Paul II

Dear Editor, Your issue of May 15 mentions the Pope's visit to Ireland in 1979. I had a tiny involvement in it, in that I am the father of one of the six young children of Aer Lingus staff who were chosen to greet the Pope when he arrived in Dublin on an Aer Lingus plane. My child had a greedy streak in her, in that she put herself at the head of the little group, in order to be the first of them to shake the Pope's hand. Not much wrong with that. But, when the Pope had shaken her hand, she ran to the other end of the line, and so shook his hand twice!

Not surprisingly, my wife's mother was delighted that one of her grandchildren had shaken the visitor's hand. But more was to follow, at Shannon Airport, from where the Pope again flew Aer Lingus on his way to America. Here, he was sent off with the pomp of our soldiers, led by a young lieutenant. And that lieutenant was a grandson of my wife's mother. So, that granny was in ecstasy in being the only woman in Ireland who could boast that one of her grandchildren had greeted the Pope coming, and another grandchild had saluted him going.

Yours etc.,

Colm Culleton,


Co. Carlow.