Search icon


19th Jul 2018

Daniel O’Donnell leads all-star musical line-up for the Pope’s visit to Dublin

Dave Hanratty

Daniel O'Donnell retirement

Lamb of God didn’t make the cut, sadly.

The World Meeting of Families is almost upon us.

The Pope-fronted gathering takes place in the capital from 21 – 26 August, and a cast of thousands are gearing up to make it a week to remember.

116 countries will be represented as part of a celebration of family life, and the presence of Pope Francis has resulted in a ticket demand frenzy not seen since Garth Brooks declared it was “five shows or none at all” back in the summer of 2014.

And if you thought demand was high before today, well, think again.

Thursday afternoon saw the grand unveiling of the musical acts that will strut their stuff at Croke Park on 25 August, and we’re talking a real who’s-who here.

Set to perform for His Holiness are:

  • Daniel O’Donnell
  • Nathan Carter
  • The Riverdance Troupe 
  • Holy Family Deaf Choir & Deaftones (No, not those Deftones)
  • Dana Masters
  • Celine Byrne
  • The Begley Family
  • Patrick Bergin (Star of Michael Flatley’s upcoming spy movie)
  • The Priests
  • Moya Brennan
  • Bridgie and Missy Collins

Big line-up for the big occasion right there.

In addition to that mouth-watering bill, music lovers can also look forward to an orchestra in excess of 50 musicians along with over 700 contemporary dancers, including 500 from Irish dance schools across the country, a 1,000 strong choir, 100 community groups, and 300 flag-bearers.

More acts will be announced closer to the event.

The selection of themes and artists featured in the event reflect many of the priorities in the ministry of Pope Francis including homelessness and those on the margins; migrants and refugees; care for our common home and the importance of the family.

Pope Francis will deliver an address to the families in the stadium and will hear five family testimonies.

The testimonies will be shared by families from Ireland, Canada, India, Iraq and Africa.

The themes of the family testimonies will focus on: forgiveness in family; strength in family; hope in family life; the intergenerational nature of families today and the impact of technology on family life. Pope Francis will meet each of these families and hear their stories.

Speaking at today’s launch in Croke Park, the President and Host of WMOF2018, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said:

“One of the great attractions of Pope Francis is how he himself shows how the role of Pope can be unique in bringing the Christian message into our complex world.

“He shows us that he can live in a world where faith seems marginal and yet manages to touch hearts. He finds ways in which he can win hearts for what the teaching of Jesus involves, not through imposing and judging, but through winning and attracting.  That is his real talent.”

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge