Dublin Airport welcomes pilgrims prior to papal landing

Dublin Airport was flooded with pilgrims on the last day of flights before the pope came to town on Saturday morning.

The airport, which has seen a record number of 100,000 passengers a day this year, is now in charge of facilitating their VIP visitor and up to 1,200 journalists accredited for the Pope's visit.

A spokesman said that although the airport is busy, they can not definitively say that it is for the Pope's visit.

They said: "Two remarkable things from the Pope's visit from his last trip to Ireland were that there are now very specific operations in the field of security.

"There can not be a welcoming party like in 1979, it simply could not happen today with our safety measures.

"While the Pope enters and leaves Dublin, we have a huge amount of planning – working with stakeholders, working with government agencies and a wide range of other people.

"We also facilitate all media that will be present this week, while we take care of the other 100,000 passengers on those days.

"We need to ensure that the operation works for everyone, including customers, not just our VIP guests."

On the ground, some of the 100,000 passengers were more prepared than others for the weekend.

Robert Slipek, who traveled from Poland for the Pope's visit, had his hostel booked for months.

He said: "I am present at the world meeting of families and both families, family is very important.

"I have never been to Ireland before, but I had always wanted to see Dublin and I would like to see the pope when I am here."

Another group that had landed on Dublin on Friday was a bachelor party from Manchester, who had no idea that they would book the same weekend as Pope Francis.

They said, "We had no idea he would come when we booked the flights months ago, we just wanted to have a drink.

"I have not been to Dublin since the eighties, it is now a very different city – it is so busy, there are so many people here.

We have decided that tomorrow he will cross the city in the Popemobile, then we will visit him and give him a wave, try to get a blessing. & # 39;

Dublin Airport said that the arrival of the Pope would have no effect on flight operations, as the Pope's plane arrives at a private terminal.

However, the airport continues to advise people to plan ahead for the journey to and from the airport, as traffic changes in the city and Fingal areas and road closures may affect the arrival time of your airport.

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