Mayor of Limerick City and County Stephen Keary, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy and Papal Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo at the unveiling of the St John Paul II Memorial. Picture: Zoe Conway/ilovelimerick
St John Paul II Memorial unveiled in Limerick City
Saint John Paul II has been commemorated by Limerick following the unveiling of a €10,000 memorial dedicated to the former Pope in Bishop’s Quay on Monday Afternoon.
The launch of the St John Paul II memorial saw Mayor of Limerick City and County Stephen Keary, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy and Papal Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo unveil the memorial which is dedicated late Pope who visited Limerick on October 1, 1979.
During his visit, St John Paul II was presented with the freedom of the city by the late Bobby Byrne, who was mayor at the time. Senator Maria Byrne, his daughter, was present at the plaque’s unveiling.
The idea for the St John Paul II memorial, which now stands on Limerick’s Waterfront, was first proposed during the National City of Culture designation in 2014. The plaque was the work of Limerick-based artist and sculpture Cliodhna Cussen.
The St John Paul II memorial, which cost €10,000, was funded by Limerick City and County Council and the Limerick Diocese.
Mayor Keary said at the event: “It’s only right that we would celebrate his visit. There was never anything like it before and will never be anything like again in this city most likely. The fact that we are doing the unveiling this year is timely given that we have the second ever visit to Ireland of a Pope in August.”
Pope Francis, who will visit Dublin on August 25 and 26, will not visit the Treaty City this time around, the Papal Nuncio confirmed.
Speaking at the unveiling, Bishop Leahy said St John Paul II “would be pleased that we are launching this memorial in the year when Ireland will be hosting the World Meeting of Families and when one of his successors, Pope Francis will be visiting Ireland.
“My wish is that all who visit this memorial will draw inspiration from the figure of this great Pope and his words.”
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