The 50th International Eucharistic Congress will take place in Dublin from June 10th to 17th 2012. The Congress is an international gathering of people that takes place every 4 years somewhere in the world.
The Congress was held in Dublin once previously, 80 years ago in 1932. It was quite an event which coincided with the 1500th anniversary of St Patrick’s arrival.
12 ocean liners moored in the port basins, along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and Scotsmans Bay. The liners acted as floating hotels and accommodated from 130 to 1500 people on each.
The final public mass of the Congress was held in the Phoenix Park where about 600,000 people attended. Thousands walked to O’Connell Street afterwards for a concluding blessing by the Papal legat to an estimated crowd of half a million.
No shortage of hotel rooms is expected in 2012, and it will be interesting to see if the 1932 crowds are matched or exceeded.
The opening ceremony, as well as most of the events, will take place at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS), while the closing ceremonies will take place in Croke Park with its 80,000 capacity and will be beamed to many millions around the world.
The Congress expects 25,000 pilgrims to participate each day in its week long programme, while the closing event is expected to be a sell out.
12,000 overseas pilgrims are expected from North America, Australia, Britain, Continental Europe, Taiwan, India, South America and Africa. They will stay in a range of accommodation including hotels, guesthouses, B&B’s, University campus apartments, and with host families in the greater Dublin area. Many will travel as groups and are expected to take pre and post Congress trips to several parts of the country, giving a significant boost to June tourism prospects in 2012. The attendant worldwide publicity will also give a major boost, particularly if the speculation about the possible attendance of the Pope comes to pass.
If you think you can help in any way with the promotion of the Congress overseas, contact Anne Griffin of the Congress organisation on firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out their website www.iec2012.ie.