Security officials ramp up preparations as Pope announces visit to Dublin homeless centre

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Security workers in charge of the Pope's visit are already working ahead of his visit to a homeless centre this summer.

It was today announced that Pope Francis will visit the Capuchin Day Centre on Arran Quay to get a close-up look at the work they've been doing.

Founder and CEO of the Capuchin Day Centre, Brother Kevin Crowley made the announcement on Newstalk Breakfast yesterday(Wed) and said they have already had security people over from Rome to check the centre out.

The group have been providing meals and support to homeless people for over 40 years and will welcome the head of the church ahead of the World Meeting of Families on 25 and 26 August.

He said: "I'm so delighted, and I think it's absolutely fantastic, that none other than Pope Francis himself is arriving to Capuchin Day Centre.

“He will be arriving on the first day he is here on the Saturday.

"I think that's a huge, huge honour for the people in need, and for the homeless people."

Pope Francis

"Archbishop [Diarmuid Martin] is really responsible for that, and I'm so thankful to Diarmuid Martin to arrange for the Pope to be coming.

“I think it's fabulous that he's giving such precious time to the homeless people.”

He added: "I'm not surprised by that, because everywhere he went because he made a special effort to be involved with the poor. He's a man for the poor. He’s a man of great concern for the underprivileged.”

And he said a massive security operation is already in place.

“We had a number of people in from Rome yesterday making preparations already.”

And he spoke of why he first set up the centre.

“The reasons for starting the centre in 1969 was because we saw so many people walking the streets during the day time and I felt we, as a Capuchin Centre, didn’t think it was all appropriate.

“When we started in 1969 we had about 50 people coming into the centre and now each morning we open our doors between 6.30am and 7am and we feed anything from 200 to 300 people in the morning time. At lunch we open again and have about 500 to 600 people.

“I think it’s scandalous that we have that in this day and age.”

He added that they have already had officials from Rome visiting the centre to make preparations for the visit, which is scheduled for the afternoon of August 25th.

The pontiff's visit to Ireland will mark the first papal visit since John Paul II in 1979.

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