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Pope Francis confirms dates for August Dublin visit - but no mention of trip to Armagh

Pope Francis arrives in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican for his weekly general audience Picture by Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Pope Francis will make the first papal trip to Ireland in almost 40 years, visiting Dublin August 25th and 26th for a Church meeting on families.

It is expected that he will travel to Armagh, Ireland's ecclesiastical capital, when he visits.

There has been strong speculation that the pontiff will visit the city's Catholic and Anglican cathedrals and hold an open-air Mass.

The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference said in a statement that the Pope will attend part of the 9th World Meeting of Families which will take place from 21 – 26 August in Dublin.

It said Pope Francis (81) will arrive in Dublin on Saturday, August 25th and will take part in the Festival of Families in Croke Park. The next day, Sunday August 26th, Pope Francis will be the chief celebrant at mass in the PhoenixPark and this event will bring to a conclusion the World Meeting of Families 2018.

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Full details of the papal schedule will be released at a later date.

The bishops said: "We eagerly await the visit of Pope Francis which no doubt will be an occasion of spiritual renewal for our laity, religious and clergy as well as a strengthening of Christian family life."

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