The Papal Nuncio to Ireland has said a papal visit is "possible".
On a visit to Moyross in Limerick, the Pope's representative in Ireland Archbishop Charles Brown said there were "many links" between Pope Francis and the Irish people.
The Pontiff studied English in Dublin in the 1970s and is said to hold Ireland "close to his heart".
Speaking in Limerick, Archbishop Brown said the Pope knows of Ireland's great devotion.
"Nothing would give me greater joy than to have that happen. The Pope loves the Irish people and he knows their great devotion to the Mother of God," he said.