AA Roadwatch warns of major traffic restrictions this weekend for the Papal Visit

Events taking place in Dublin on both days this weekend and in Knock on Sunday for the visit of Pope Francis will mean significant traffic restrictions. Whilst Dublin City is open for business, anyone travelling into the city, whether attending the events or not, is urged to take public transport.


“Planning is key this weekend” says Arwen Foley, Editor of AA Roadwatch. “Additional services will be made available across all public transport networks and we are strongly encouraging people to use them.”


There are no more tickets available for any of the events so do not travel to Croke Park, Knock or the Phoenix Park if you do not have a ticket. Those travelling 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. However, 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 services are already fully booked.


“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” says Arwen. “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.”


Phoenix Park


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 Arwen. Dublin Bus will have seven dedicated transport hubs throughout the city but a long walk will follow. The longest of which will be from Laurel Lodge to the event; a distance of about 4.4km. “That’s almost half the distance of the Women’s Mini Marathon, both on the way there and on the way back” warns Arwen. “There will be manned rest areas and water available for those making the trek along each route though.”


A Controlled Access Zone will be in place from 6am. 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. “Major restrictions will be in place around the Phoenix Park, stretching many kilometres and also in the city centre” advises Arwen.


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 is no car park near the venue, 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.


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


Croke Park


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.




Pope Francis will visit Knock in 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 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. A video on road closures relating to the Phoenix Park event can be found here: https://youtu.be/cFYwc8QuYr4

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.