Phoenix Park has reopened to the public 15 hours ahead of schedule

Phoenix Park has reopened to the public 15 hours ahead of schedule
An aerial view of the Phoenix Park as people gathered before the closing Mass at the World Meeting of Families. Picture: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Dublin's Phoenix Park has reopened to the public.

Following a mammoth clean-up, the park opened 15 hours ahead of schedule today at 4pm.

More than 200 litter pickers worked through the night clearing public routes.

Gates and road signage have also been put back in place.

Norma Dunne from Ryan's Cleaning Contractors was one of the people involved in the clean-up.

She said: "We handed out family bags to the public. They were a huge success and they helped massively last night with the lifting of the bins.

"The turn around time that we have in order to get the park back to the OPW is something we pride ourselves on."

An estimated half a million pilgrims were expected to gather to hear Pope Francis say Mass on the second day of his historic visit to Ireland.

The tickets had been distributed in July for the landmark religious event but the number of people who attended is likely closer to less than half of that. Estimates range from 130,000 to 200,000, with the organisers yet to confirm their own estimate.

A spokesperson for the OPW, which operates the park, has thanked the public who attended yesterday's Mass for doing their part and disposing of their litter properly.

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