Poor weather meant Pope may not have made it to Knock at all

The Pope arrived and departed from Ireland West Airport Knock.

But it was touch and go for a while as to whether the Pope would make it at all.

Head of Operations at Ireland West Airport Knock John McCarthy told Ocean FM News today that a meeting with Met Eireann early this morning was a tense one.

The weather at Knock Airport in the hours preceeding the Pope’s visit could only have been described as dismal.

Heavy rain and fog covered the hill making landing difficult.

John McCarthy told Claire Mulcahy that if it wasn’t for new technology at the airport and a brief reprieve in the weather the Pope’s plane may not have been able to land:

But he did touch down at 9:20am this morning much to the delight of the around 100 children who gathered at the airport from four nearby schools to greet him as well as John McCarthy’s family.

His wife Mary and their four children greeted the Pope at the bottom of the steps and presented him with a bouquet of flowers. They spoke to Ocean FM News afterwards:

Sarah Hunt and Leah Durkin from St. Attractas National School in Charlestown also met the Pope:

After the Pope had greeted all the local dignataries it was clear he made a point of going over to visit one young man Iarlaith Farrell who lives with a disability which has confined him to a wheelchair.

His grandmother Liz Farrell told Ocean FM News that she was overcome with emotion at the blessing the Pope bestowed on her grandson:

Minister Michael Ring said despite the bad weather the events of the day would have made founder of the airport Monsignor James Horan proud: