Poor attendance at the Pope's Mass blamed on RTÉ and poor weather 5 years ago

Poor attendance at the Pope's Mass blamed on RTÉ and poor weather

Turnout was far lower than expected.

Bad weather and the comprehensive coverage by RTÉ of the visit are the reasons cited for a poor turnout at the Pope's Mass in August.


Prior to the visit, it was expected that as many as 500,000 people would attend the mass in Phoenix Park, but the figure ended up being around 150,000.

According to the Irish Independent, a review of the visit said the poor turnout was due to RTÉ's coverage and the poor weather on the day.

"Bad weather had an impact on turnout, plus RTÉ's comprehensive coverage meant that people would watch it from the comfort of their own homes," the notes said.

According to The Times Ireland Edition, the World Meeting of Families also complained to the government that too much emphasis was placed on the long walk to the mass by RTÉ.


More than one million people tuned into RTÉ One at some point during the Papal Mass.

The national broadcaster also said an average of 535,000 viewers saw the full Mass from start to finish.

The programme coverage reached an audience of 1.1 million viewers who tuned in at some point during the broadcast while RTÉ also shared the footage with 77 broadcasters around the world.

TV viewing data released by Nielsen TAM at the time showed that over 1.8 million viewers tuned into RTÉ special live television coverage of Pope Francis in Ireland across the weekend.