Pope Francis to visit Ireland in August

Pope Francis will make a visit to Dublin in August. Credit: AP

Pope Francis will visit Ireland later this year, almost four decades since the the last papal visit.

It has been confirmed that the pontiff will arrive in Dublin on Saturday 25 August, and will take part in the ‘Festival of Families’ in Croke Park.

The Festival of Families is the faith-based cultural concert of the World Meeting of Families six-day programme.

Pope Francis will then celebrate Mass in Phoenix Park on Sunday 26 August.

Speculation had been mounting that the 81-year-old pontiff would make a visit in 2018.

More than one million people turned out for an open air Mass when Pope John Paul II visited Ireland in 1979. Credit: Pacemaker

Pope John Paul II was the last pontiff to visit Ireland in 1979.

The announcement of Pope Francis's visit has been welcomed by the Catholic Bishops' Conference.

In a statement, the bishops said: "We are deeply honoured that Pope Francis will come to our country to participate in this universal church celebration of faith and joy, as well as of the contemporary challenges which face families.

"With great anticipation, we also look forward to hearing the apostolic guidance of His Holiness during his stay with us."

Full details of the papal schedule will be released at a later date.

However, Pope Francis will not be using the trip to travel to Northern Ireland.