Popemobile returns to Dublin ahead of Pope Francis visit to Ireland

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A refurbished Popemobile from 1979 has been unveiled in Dublin along with a new waxwork of Pope Francis ahead of his visit to Ireland.

The restored Popemobile has not been used since it transported Pope John Paul II during the last papal visit to the country.

This time it will be used to bring people to and from the closing mass in Phoenix Park to raise money for charity.

Pope Francis is due to arrive in Dublin on Saturday for a 36-hour visit and up to half a million people are expected to make their way to Phoenix Park for the closing mass on Sunday.

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Crowds gathered at O’Connell Bridge for the unveiling by Dublin’s National Wax Museum Plus.

The Pope is due to begin a two-day visit to Ireland  Popemobile returns to Dublin ahead of Pope Francis visit to Ireland skynews popemobile waxwork 4398786
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Pope Francis is due to begin a two-day visit to Ireland

The waxwork of Pope John Paul II has been restored after being damaged in the Father Ted Room last year.

Ed Coleman, manager of the museum, said the Popemobile was still close to the hearts of Irish people.

He said: “The Popemobile is still in the hearts of the Irish public after all these years.

“People still ask at the museum ‘where is the Popemobile?’ They want to see it.”



Pope Francis said the church had 'abandoned the little ones'  Popemobile returns to Dublin ahead of Pope Francis visit to Ireland skynews pope francis pope francis 4395703




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It is estimated that 2.7 million people saw Pope John Paul II during his three-day tour in 1979.

The Popemobile was specially built for the papal visit by, and the 20ft long vehicle was designed to resemble a Roman chariot.

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It features the papal crest on the exterior and had to have space to hold the Pope and 15 of his entourage.

Originally designed as a D-Series Ford, it was upgraded to a Mercedes Benz truck before it was completed.

The vehicle was on display at the museum until 2006 when it was removed for restoration.

A tourist poses with the waxwork  Popemobile returns to Dublin ahead of Pope Francis visit to Ireland skynews popemobile dublin visit 4398785
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A tourist poses with the waxwork

Mr Coleman said the work involved painstakingly dismantling the vehicle before it was put back together again.

He said: “They had no blueprint, it was a massive project… it took years to complete.”

It has now been re-named “The Hope Mobile” and will assist Irish charities at fundraising events.

Mr Coleman said they wanted to use the vehicle for good causes.

He added: “Despite many requests to lease the vehicle for various social events, its use has – and always will – be prioritised for causes that benefit those who need help the most.”



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