Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI 'may visit NI'

There is a strong possibility that the Pope may visit Northern Ireland next year, the BBC has learned.

On Wednesday, news broke that Pope Benedict XVI is to travel to the UK for the first papal visit since 1982.

The BBC's Rome correspondent David Willey said there were "strong indications" the trip would include a visit to Northern Ireland.

However, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Ireland dismissed it as "pure speculation".

Martin Long from Catholic Communications Office said there had been no confirmation of such a visit from official church sources.

The 30th anniversary of the last papal visit to the Republic of Ireland will be marked this weekend.

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