Galway gearing up for Ballybrit celebration

Preparations progressing for canonisation event

The Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora is gearing up for a major celebration of the canonisation of Blessed John Paul II following a great response to its invitation to Ballybrit Racecourse this April 27.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic this week, Fr Martin Whelan of Galway Cathedral said the event, on the site of the late Pontiff’s 1979 visit to the West, was “progressing very well” as more groups and individuals signed up to take part.

“Churches around Ballybrit have cancelled Masses for that date in response to the large numbers of parishioners travelling to Ballybrit,” he said. He added that there would also be a “strong presence” by the region’s Polish community for the live broadcast from Rome of the canonisation of their fellow countryman and hero. He revealed too that a new exhibition at Galway Cathedral charting the Pope’s 1979 Ballybrit visit has also drawn many visitors since its opening.

Fr Martin requested that any youth group still intending to be part of the 2pm youth catechesis establish contact with Maura Garrihy, Galway’s youth officer at

Events at Ballybrit commence at 11am.