A question of faith

A question of faith View Gallery

John Paul II came to an already changing but still deeply Catholic Ireland. Pope Francis, however, will visit a country where a battered Church is under pressure from within and without

Joe McDonald was just a teenager when he was part of a group of lads who left West Belfast in the dead of night and travelled to Ballybrit in Galway, arriving at a quarter to four in the morning. With thousands of other early risers, they lay on the wet grass of the racecourse, trying to get some sleep in the rain. As night turned to day, the west of Ireland chill was warded off with singing, clapping and cheering among the growing crowd until thousands of faces turned up towards the sky to see a helicopter hovering above.

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