Would you lick a lollipope? Merchandisers cash in on pope visit

Organisers of the visit have called on stores to donate some of the profits to charity

Would you lick a lollipope? Merchandisers cash in on pope visit

Image: Paul Quinn

Organisers of the Pope’s upcoming trip to Ireland have called on stores selling unofficial merchandise to consider donating some of the profits to charity.

Dunnes and Dealz have started selling t-shirts, flags and, for the sweet-toothed among the faithful, the 'lollipope.'

Fr Tim Bartlett from the World Meeting of Families has admitted that the memorabilia is par for the course - but called on outlets to do it in a tasteful way.

"Well if they are making some profit out of this; is there any way in which they could share that profit back into some of the things that are important to Pope Francis?" he asked.

"Like homelessness, the plight of refugees and so on."

These people have mixed views on the merchandise:

Organisers have also unveiled some of the acts that will perform for the Pontiff in Croke Park next month.

More than 2,000 people including dancers and singers will take part in the event, which will be attended by around 77,000.

Acts include Riverdance, Daniel O’Donnell and Nathan Carter are on the bill.

 

Irish country music star Nathan Carter said it is not his first time to perform for a Pope.

"I was part of a boys choir growing up and we sang for Pope John Paul II in Rome when I was about 11," he said.

"So for me to sing for two popes is amazing."

The event will also include over 700 dancers, 300 flag bearers and 100 community groups.

The pope will spend around 36 hours in Ireland – taking in a trip to Knock Shrine in Mayo and a mass for around half a million people in the Phoenix Park in Dublin as well as his Croke Park appearance.

Reporting from Paul Quinn ...