Excitement grows over Papal visit

It is clear from the huge response to the release of online tickets yesterday for the visit to Ireland by Pope Francis that hundreds of thousands of people will be flocking to the three main events on August 25 and 26.

Up to 500,000 pilgrims are expected to attend the Papal Mass in the Phoenix Park, while the 82,000 capacity of Croke Park is likely to be tested for the Festival of Families celebration and the 45,000 places available for the gathering at Knock Shrine in Co Mayo were all snapped up within a matter of hours.

It was encouraging that all the technology surrounding yesterday's digital launch appeared to work perfectly, with applicants reporting a smooth and efficient process at all stages.

Although Pope Francis will only be in Ireland for less than 48 hours, there can be no doubt that excitement is steadily mounting over his arrival.