This portable Papal chair is a must-have for anyone attending the Pope’s visit to Ireland 5 years ago

This portable Papal chair is a must-have for anyone attending the Pope’s visit to Ireland

Attending events in Knock or Dublin during the Pope’s visit to Ireland? You might want to get your hands on a portable Papal chair.

The visit of Pope Francis to Ireland is a little over a week away, with hundreds of thousands of people set to witness the first appearance of His Holiness in this country since 1979.


Pope Francis will be attending events in Áras an Uachtaráin, Dublin Castle and Croke Park during his brief visit later this month, but his main order of business will be two public events in Knock Shrine in Mayo and in the Phoenix Park in Dublin. Check out his full itinerary here.

Over 600,000 people are set to be in attendance at those events and considering that they will be on their feet for quite an amount of time, a Dublin entrepreneur has come up with a product that will allow patrons to take the load off.

Dublin man John McGarry had the brainwave for a portable chair he has created specifically for the Papal visit to Ireland after finding himself on his feet for hours at sporting events and concerts.

McGarry approached Smurfit Kappa Display in Tallaght with the idea and worked with a team there testing designs and prototypes to make it a reality (see below).


The finished product even looks like a Pope's hat...

The chair, which is sold flat and takes seconds to assemble, is made from corrugated board and can withhold a weight of up to 100kg; it features an image of the Pope and is 100% recyclable.


Speaking about his product, McGarry said: “I heard that people could be on their feet for up to eight hours when they go to see the Pope. This chair is very lightweight and has a handle so it’s completely portable.

“Alongside being a great souvenir of this historic day, it’s completely biodegradable and made from Forest Stewardship Council approved paper.”

John O’Loughlin, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Ireland, added: “We welcomed the opportunity to work with John to create the Pope’s chair.

“At Smurfit Kappa, we’re always keen to identify sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics and this chair is the perfect solution for people who may need to sit down either on their way to or inside the Phoenix Park.”


McGarry’s chair is the latest piece of papal-themed merchandise offered up to the public ahead of Pope Francis’ visit; stamps and t-shirts bearing his visage have also proved particularly popular in recent months.

You can shop for it right here.