Protesters devise a plan to sabotage Pope’s Ireland visit

Protesters devise a plan to sabotage Pope’s Ireland visit

Organisers of Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland in August were delighted this week by a huge demand for free tickets for a clutch of events – until it became clear that they were being booked by people who have no intention of attending any of them.

According to this report, the demand for tickets spiked after a “Say Nope to The Pope” page was launched on Facebook.

The Pontiff’s Irish tour comprises three events open to the public: the World Meeting of Families 2018 at Croke Park on August 25, a Knock shrine event in Co Mayo on the morning of August 26, and a closing mass at Phoenix Park later that day.

One protester, named here as Jonathan Keane, said he booked 800 tickets on Monday, by using various different names and email addresses, on the World Meeting of Families website.

He booked one batch of tickets for the Phoenix Park mass under the name “Jesus Christ,” he said, added that many had booked 60 tickets. He estimated that “easily thousands” of tickets had been booked by members of the page, who would not be attending any events.

When booking went live on Monday, 285,000 of the 500,000 tickets for the papal Mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park had been secured by 5pm. Though tickets are free, people are asked to consider making a donation.

All 45,000 tickets for the pope’s visit to Knock shrine, Co Mayo, have been booked, as well as 70,000 tickets for a series of events for the World Meeting of Families.

Keane, who lives in Cork city, said the “Say Nope to the Pope” page was a “peaceful protest”, which had taken off in the last few days.

It’s a lot bigger than I thought it’d be.

The organisers of the Facebook page have been criticised for taking up tickets that other members of the public who want to attend the events might miss out on.

One wrote:

Shame on you taking an opportunity away from others. You’re a sad bunch. A lot of older people won’t get another chance to see the Pope and your petty actions have denied them that chance. That’s other people’s parents and grandparents. Have a little think about that.

Keane said:

I’ve been called a lot of names, I don’t take any notice of them. Whatever you do in Ireland you get complaints.

Several other members of the “Say Nope to The Pope” group said they plan to trash tickets to the Phoenix Park Mass.

More than 4,000 people have now joined the campaign on Facebook.

Said one user:

As far as peaceful protests go, this is an absolutely fantastic idea. I abhor the idea of that man setting foot in this country, after so much hurt and tragedy … I doubt it will make too much of a difference as the Phoenix Park is such a huge space, but well done and kudos to all.

Another said:

You could go back over the last 900 years of oppression and tyranny and everything the Catholic Church has done to Ireland. I’m at 36 tickets now myself … It’s going to be a very powerful message to see loads of empty seats at the Mass.

The NSS’s Terry Sanderson chimed in, saying:

Glad to see an anti-Pope campaign in Ireland similar to the NSS’s protests against the visit of the previous ghastly old git to Britain.

Meanwhile someone called Sonya Mulligan has created “Say Nope to the Pope” button badges, which she is selling online for €2.00.

She said yesterday on the Facebook page:

Just had a very polite but unpleasant phone call from a randomer ringing to tell me ‘He’s very disappointed in me’ and that ‘Madam you are creating a climate of intolerance’ by making my ‘Nope to the Pope’ badges. I equally politely informed him that I strongly believed in free speech and that I was entitled to my opinion as was he. Good day sir.

A spokesperson for the World Meeting of Families told The Times that they are aware of the protest and have systems in place to check that all ticket bookings are valid.

Hat tip: BarrieJohn

19 responses to “Protesters devise a plan to sabotage Pope’s Ireland visit”

  1. Terry says:

    And the bill for the Pope’s visit must be sent to the vatican. Why should those that don’t want the Pope to visit foot the bill which will run into millions. The RCC is rich enough, thousands of times over, to fund the visit.

  2. Club Secretary says:

    “Shame on you taking an opportunity away from others. You’re a sad bunch. A lot of older people won’t get another chance to see the Pope and your petty actions have denied them that chance.”

    But surely they will have a chance to see him when they are all in heaven.

  3. Edward says:

    CS. If there is a heaven then no pope has ever gone there before, nor ever will. Nope, they are bound for that other place. The place where the RCC said for centuries that those who did not heed them will burn for ever. Enjoy, you bastard sons of bitches.

  4. AgentCormac says:

    It’s wonderful to see the speed with which the Irish are embracing secularism and finally wrestling free from the yoke of the RCC. If it can happen in Ireland, it can happen anywhere.

  5. Duhhhhuhhh says:

    OT. I just occurred to me that if Mary was married to Joseph then that makes Jesus a bastard. Why has nobody pointed this out to me before

  6. L.Long says:

    Duhhh…you have not been reading a lot of comments on other blogs. I always refer to jesus as the ‘failed jew preacher, the bastard son of the 14yr old Mary, raped by some psycho alien!’ or just as the bastard jesus. And this has been pointed out by many other commenters.

  7. Cameron says:

    OK. That was easy. Ordered 4 Tickets to the Final Mass (if only that appellation was true).Easy. Took me 6 minutes.
    Go on order your tickets now.

  8. ray metcalfe says:

    ‘He’s very disappointed in me’ and that ‘Madam you are creating a climate of intolerance’ by making my ‘Nope to the Pope’ badges. I equally politely informed him that I strongly believed in free speech and that I was entitled to my opinion as was he. Good day sir.
    funny she is creating a climate of intolerance by making these buttons but the rc policies are intolerant but because they are instigated by the pope they are ok. the man is wazack

  9. CoastalMaineBird says:

    @Duhhhhuhhh : Now that you figured THAT out, answer this one:

    If Joseph wasn’t the father of Jesus, then what’s the point of the genealogies (not one, but two, only vaguely similar) of Joseph in the gospels?

  10. Dianne Leonard says:

    A while ago when the pope (don’t remember which one) came to the US, Dan Barker of FFRF wrote a song that starts: “Pope, pope, stay away/ Don’t come back another day/ It’s worse than a sin/ when we have to pay/ To hear you preach against the American way.” It would be great to rewrite for Ireland! Songwriters, hop to it! (I have to add that this song was played all over on radio stations. So its exposure was not limited to atheists or FFRF members.)

  11. tonye says:


    I could be wrong (and, hopefully somebody of this site could clarify) but I was under the impression that the last time a pope visited the UK (Benny) the Vatican received a bill for security that has still not been paid.

  12. L.Long says:

    CMB…I think the Joseph genealogy was an after thought as the jews show jewishness thru the mother, where western genealogy is thru the “father”, which is weird as jesus’ father was an alien!

  13. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Tony’s, I think you’re correct and we’re still waiting for the vatican to pay up. Maybe we should send the bailiffs in, not like they haven’t got a bob or two.

  14. Ernest Jackson says:

    CoastalMaineBird and L.Long:
    I think you’re both right. The Jewishness passes through the female line while the money and the patrimony passes through the male line. Therefore Jesus would be accounted Jewish because Mary was Jewish and “of the house of David” because Joseph was a descendant of David; except that Joseph wasn’t the father.
    Jesus also was not the Messiah as he failed to do the things the Messiah should have done, the chief one being to lead a successful armed uprising and throw out the Romans. The second thing he failed to do was to end the World, so in the C2 when the verbal folk histories and variant manuscripts were collated all the joints were showing. After all, who needs a written history after the end of the World?

    G M-R:
    I think you have great idea for a special edition of one of those strange TV programmes, Can’t Pray or something like that, where they go into Westminster Cathedral and possess the altar. This could be followed by one of those strange programmes where a priest follows them and exorcises the possession.

  15. tonye says:


    Thanks for that.

  16. Robster says:

    This is like a protracted divorce, the Irish are putting the Vatican and it’s cabal of crook clerics in their place, that is at home in the Vatican bubble where they can play let’s pretend to their juvenile hearts content.

  17. barriejohn says:

    Ernest Jackson: Good points. If Jesus was a real person and died around the time that the Bible alleges, then someone obviously came up with the “Second Coming” idea. That would still allow him (a dead man) to defeat the Romans and set up The Kingdom of God within “this generation”. It’s the existence of this device that makes me think that Jesus was based upon a real person. If the whole thing was a myth, and Jesus didn’t exist at all, then that part of the story doesn’t really make sense, if you see what I mean!

  18. StephenJP says:

    @barriejohn: getting into deep and dodgy waters here,but the death-rebirth-salvation myth surely comes originally from the half-dozen “authentic” epistles of “Paul”, which refer almost nowhere to any earthly Jesus. The “powers of the earth” that he is supposed to have conquered are not the Romans, but the evil spirits that dwell somewhere between here and heaven, and actually run this place.

    The gospels are much, much later, and designed largely to meet theological requirements. They are written in the style of contemporary fictions, not biographies, and where their claims can be tested against the evidence, they fall short. There may well have been a real apocalyptic prophet called Jesus (a common enough name), but there is no evidence, least of all in the gospels, about his life.

    Enough of this; I’m going to bed! Well done the Irish!

  19. andym says:

    I doubt if we’d know even if we could time travel. The name Jesus would have been unknown to Jews. It’s a latinised form of Joshua. A “Joshua” in Hebrew is a messianic figure so all sorts of ranting,charismatic, eccentric, itinerant preachers could been referred to as Joshua. Some of them might have been crucified, and for petty crimes unconnected with their preaching-it would have been a pretty hand-to-mouth existence even by the standards of the time. Perhaps the burial place of one was changed at the last minute, so his intended tomb appeared empty later. Maybe this was dimly remembered decades later.

    I’m sure our time traveller would see many who could have been Jesus, but wouldn’t find one who must have Jesus.