Pope Francis may visit Ireland in 2016, according to reports. A papal visit was ruled out for next year, but there is speculation that the Pope will visit in the year Ireland marks the centenary of the Easter Rising.
Archbishop Charles Brown, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Ireland, said that Catholics in Ireland would be ‘overjoyed’ by a visit from the Pope. Pope Francis would become only the second Pope ever to visit the country.
2016 will also see the culmination of the ‘decade of centenaries’, which Ireland has been celebrating to commemorate several pivotal events in the last century. It would be appropriate for the Pope to visit Ireland 100 years after the 1916 Rising, an event which is widely considered to be the beginning of the modern state.
The last and only papal visit to Ireland was by Pope John Paul II in 1978.