Local Fine Gael Area Representative, Andrew Reynolds, has defended the €20 million being spent on the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to Ireland, describing it as “a huge boost to the region”. Reynolds added that it was “highly significant” that the Holy Father will be flying into Ireland West Airport during his time here in August.
The LAR for Rooskey, Tarmonbarry, Ballyleague, Strokestown and surrounding areas said that he was looking forward to being one of the estimated half a million people in attendance when the Pontiff says Mass in the Phoenix Park and he believes that the event will be “a spirit riser” for the Catholic community.
“It’s going to cost in the region of €20 million. This country spent €25 million on Barack Obama and €35 million on Queen Elizabeth when she visited Ireland. Even though the government is saying that this is not a state visit by the Pontiff I still feel that this is a hugely beneficial visit to the country and will reap rewards tenfold.
“Some people will say it’s €20 million that could have been spent on social housing, homelessness and feeding the hungry – and I agree that all those people need to be helped. But I would argue that sometimes money is not always the answer and more than just money is required to fix some of those problems”.