Last week it was confirmed that Pope Francis would make his way through Dublin’s City Centre in the Pope Mobile.
The direct route included travelling up O’Connell Street, Westmoreland Street and Dame Street on Saturday afternoon.
The planning and preparation for this event were “enormous” according to Gardaí and it was expected to attract upwards of 100,000.
On Saturday afternoon, however, it became clear that nowhere near this figure had made its way to the city centre to catch a glimpse of the Pope.
Although no official figures have been released, images revealed that the crowds were not exactly “enormous”.
— Katherine Nolan (@DoChara) August 25, 2018
— Tom Murphy (@DeVore) August 25, 2018
This caused a stir online with many people questioning why the Pope drive by was able to happen in the city centre but Dublin Pride parade has been redirected away from the main Dublin streets for the past two years.
Ian Lambkin said: “The pope is just doing a trial run of our (hopeful) route next year for Pride. We should thank him!”
— Ian Lambkin (@Ianyb) August 22, 2018
Emma said “I’ve been awfully quiet about this visit cause I’m COI and it’s not my place to give my opinion… but they pushed pride into side streets and changed the route to stop distributions yet they will parade the pope through the city centre and that makes me sad”
I’ve be awfully quite about this visit cause I’m COI and it’s not my place to give my opinion… but they pushed pride into side streets and changed the route to stop distributions yet they will parade the pope through the city centre and that makes me sad https://t.co/10gf1O1kW7
— Emma (@Emm_The) August 22, 2018
If it's a good enough route for The Pope, then it's perfect for @DublinPride 2019. You know? Instead of being diverted through the arse end (not offence meant!) of the city again?
— Dr Cara Daly (@cairotango) August 22, 2018
That's the route for March for Choice and @dublinpride sorted so! No more getting ousted to the outskirts of town for us anymore. We. Are. The. City. #freesafelegal #ARCMarch18 #yesequality #repealedthe8th pic.twitter.com/5AbThrWe6n
— Catherine 'Repealed the 8th' Rutter (@CatRutter) August 22, 2018
It is interesting to note that the papal parade will be given access to O'Connell St and Dame St, access that @DublinPride was denied. Presumably the RC Church is rewarding @DubCityCouncil handsomely for this privilege? https://t.co/VqDqdJy9FE
— Fergus Ryan (@ferguswryan) August 22, 2018
This call from the LGBT+ community has been echoed by the organisers of Dublin Pride who would like to see a more direct Pride route reinstated.
Jed Dowling, Director of Dublin Pride, stated, “While would never use the Pope as an example of what we should do, the fact that on a Saturday it was possible to close O’Connell Street and Dame Street for the parade is something we’re looking very closely at. I’m sure we would agree, the level of disruption to the city and the amount of money spent on this is not something we want to repeat, but there must be a balance here, and we’ll be working towards that. A big step towards our goal is to address the fact that we receive no government funding and would call on the community to raise this issue with their local TDs.”
A spokesperson from Dublin City Council said: “No discussions have taken place with Dublin City Council or to our knowledge, An Garda Síochána in respect of a proposed route for the 2019 Dublin Pride Parade.”
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