Organisers could have doubled size of Papal event venues
Organisers of the World Meeting of Families have appealed to parishes to return any unused tickets to celebrate Mass with Pope Francis in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. It comes as unprecedented demand for places continues even after all tickets have been allocated. Fr Tim Bartlett Secretary General for WMOF said “we could’ve definitely doubled most of our venues in terms of requests [for tickets]”.
Fears have been expressed that some would-be pilgrims will be unable to attend the Papal Mass due to some people holding duplicate tickets after having reserved a place directly with WMOF and through their parish or diocese.
Brenda Drumm, spokes-person for WMOF told The Irish Catholic that organisers are not in a position to issue a fresh round of tickets. “We are limited to a 500,000 ticket issue.
“Where there is the possibility to reallocate existing tickets, we will do that,” she said.
Many parishioners who are active in their parishes applied for tickets to attend the Mass with Pope Francis in the Phoenix Park as soon as they became available, but then decided to travel with a parish group who had already been allocated tickets. This means that in some cases, people will have more tickets than they actually need.
Fr Bartlett said that his office remains under “immense pressure” for tickets.
“We could’ve definitely doubled most of our venues in terms of requests [for tickets]. Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic about many tickets being available”.
He said that organisers are “going to do a thorough review in about two weeks’ time of Phoenix Park just to see if, for example, parishes in good faith booked a coach of 50 but in the end it’s down to 45 or 40. If there are tickets left over from that process we will make them available. “The demand continues to be immense,” he said.
Ms Drumm told The Irish Catholic that “if there are double bookings we will be inviting parishes to pass on those tickets to those who are still looking for a ticket to the park”.
She said that “if it is not possible to do this locally, we will be asking parishes to return them to us and we will reallocate them”.
According to Ms Drumm there will be no access for any vehicles near the park. “The ticket that matters for individuals is the personal ticket with the route and gate into the park on it.
“These will be allocated based on where the individual/family have said they are coming from on the morning of the Mass,” she said.