Republic of Ireland news

Campaigner warns of protests over child abuse during Pope's visit to Ireland

Pope Francis will celebrate Mass at Phoenix Park in Dublin during his visit to Ireland
Michael McHugh, Press Association

Pope Francis will face protests about child abuse when he visits Ireland, a campaigner said.

The pontiff will attend part of the 9th World Meeting of Families which will take place from August 21 - 26 in Dublin.

Margaret McGuckin is leading calls for a special payment to child victims of institutional abuse in Catholic residential homes in the north.

She said: "I am sure there will be many of our survivor groups down south who will be protesting.

"I am sure people could get quite angry and irate that the Pope is still coming.

"He still has not stepped in to do anything, I don't think it is a good time for him to come here."

A series of reports have highlighted physical and sexual abuse by Catholic clerics in the Republic.

In Northern Ireland a public inquiry has recommended special payments to survivors but that has not been implemented because of the collapse of devolved Government at Stormont.

Ms McGuckin said: "We all thought with a new Pope in place he would be a change."

The Pope has expressed "pain and shame" over the clerical sex abuse of children.

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