AA Roadwatch release important information about traffic restrictions ahead of the Pope's visit 5 years ago

AA Roadwatch release important information about traffic restrictions ahead of the Pope's visit

Take note if you're on the roads of Dublin and Mayo.

AA Roadwatch have released a plethora of information about the traffic restrictions that are expected across the country ahead of the Pope's visit.


Events will take place in Dublin on both days of this weekend and in Knock on Sunday for the visit of Pope Francis. Ultimately, there will be significant traffic restrictions in place.

There are no more tickets available for any of the events, so the authorities are asking people without tickets not to travel to Croke Park, Knock or the Phoenix Park.

Phoenix Park

Those with tickets that are heading to the mass in Phoenix Park will be able to avail of free public transport in the Greater Dublin Area on Sunday by presenting their ticket. If you are travelling from outside Dublin, you will need to organise your trip well in advance and pre-book tickets for travel. However, a lot of these services are already fully booked.


Commenting on the traffic disruptions, Arwen Foley, Editor of AA Roadwatch, said: “The full length of the M50 and the M1 will be open as normal so once on the motorways, there will be no problem getting to Dublin Airport. The Port Tunnel and Tom Clarke Bridge (East Link) will also be open so anyone wishing to travel between the north and south sides of the city, is advised to use these routes.”

With regards to the traffic restrictions that will be in place around the Phoenix Park, here's what's expected.

The majority of the road closures in Dublin will occur on Sunday as Pope Francis will be the main celebrant at the Final Mass in the Phoenix Park at 3pm.

“No matter how you plan on getting to the Phoenix Park, you are advised to be prepared for a long walk” says Foley.


Dublin Bus will have seven dedicated transport hubs throughout the city, but a long walk to the Phoenix Park will follow, the longest of which will be from Laurel Lodge to the event; a distance of about 4.4km.

A Controlled Access Zone will be in place from 6am on Sunday. The N3/Navan Rd, N4/Lucan Rd and N7/Naas Rd will be closed at the M50 Interchange from this time, with traffic sent either north or south onto the M50.

There are currently no planned closures for Finglas Rd, Ballymun Rd or any major northside commuter routes further east, however, there will be restrictions as you get closer to the city centre.

Southside closures start at Grand Canal, with the bridges along this artery closed from 8am on Sunday. Road closures and traffic restrictions apply to taxis as well as private vehicles. Cyclists will also be stopped from entering the Controlled Access Zone when there is a lot of pedestrian traffic.


There will be no car park near the venue, so public transport is the best option. There will be specially created Park & Ride hubs where people can park and take public transport at Leopardstown Racecourse, UCD Belfield and Maynooth University.

There will be no Luas Red Line services between Blackhorse and Smithfield from 7am until 10pm on Sunday.

Croke Park

For anyone that's travelling past Croke Park, AA Roadwatch have released the following tips and suggestions.

70,000 people are expected to attend the Festival of Families at Croke Park on Saturday. Gates open at 4pm and the concert will be on from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. There will be a number of road closures across the city from about midday, including O’Connell St, Church St, Patrick St and Dame St. However, some roads will be closed as early as 6am.


There will also be rolling restrictions on both Saturday and Sunday as Pope Francis visits a number of locations in Dublin city centre.


As for the ceremony at Knock, Pope Francis will visit County Mayo on Sunday morning. To accommodate this, the centre of Knock Village will be closed from 6pm on Saturday. The N17 will also be closed from midnight on Saturday until at least 6pm on Sunday between Charlestown and Claremorris.

Anyone that's travelling to the event is advised that there will be a considerable walk from the car parks and there will be no shuttle bus facility to the event site.

Full details on traffic and travel arrangements are available here.