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Bishop extends invitation to Pope

BISHOP of Killaloe Fintan Monahan extended a warm welcome to visit Clare to his Holiness Pope Francis during his Ad Limina visit to the Vatican.

On Friday, Bishop Monahan, along with the 26 other diocesan bishops, met with Pope Francis, where they got to raise a number of issues with him directly.

Each of the bishops got to individually speak with the Pope and Bishop Monahan said he used that time to invite him to the Diocese of Killaloe and, hopefully, to Holy Island, when he visits Ireland in 2018. He also spoke about the previous visit to County Clare by Pope John Paul II in 1979, highlighting his stop-off in Shannon.

Bishop Monahan said he knows the decision is ultimately out of his hands as to where the Pope will visit when he comes here for the Meeting of Families, but he said he can do no more, having extended the invitation.

Children of Mountshannon National School were also involved in lobbying the Pontiff to come to East Clare, having sent a number of postcards to the Vatican last week.

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