Pope Francis has been invited to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor Pope John Paul and visit Offaly when he comes to Ireland next summer.
The invitation has been officially extended to Pope Francis by Offaly County Council. Speaking to the Offaly Independent, Cathaoirleach Liam Quinn said that the members felt that given the historical significance of Clonmacnoise as a place of Christian worship, it was appropriate to invite Pope Francis to Offaly when he visits the country next August for the Festival of Families in Dublin.
“It might or might not be taken up but given Clonmacnoise's historical importance we decided to offer the invitation. We also included a reference to Durrow in the invitation as the council are trying to promote Durrow and highlight its importance,” he said.
The now Saint John Paul visited Clonmacnoise on Sunday, September 30 in 1979.