Pope Francis celebrates the final Mass of the World Meeting of Families 2018, in Phoenix Park Dublin, before a crowd of hundreds of thousands.

Despite blustery and wet weather hundreds of thousands have turned out at the Phoenix Park to greet Pope Francis and celebrate the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families 2018.

This is the first time a Pope has visited Ireland since Pope John Paul's trip in 1979 when for 1,250,000 people, one-third of the population of the Republic of Ireland came out to see the Pope.

Today in  Phoenix park it's estimated that 500,000 have turned out.

The day-long event is a major undertaking. RTE broke down what's involved in the colossal Mass:

- 2,500 police are on duty around the city today, 700 inside the park and 900 outside
- 1,000 stewards in the park itself
- 7,000 World Meeting of Families volunteers
- 3,000 people taking part in the mass choir
- 2,000 Ministers of the Eucharist
- 1,000 medical staff on duty, including 30 doctors and 30 nurses

15.21: In the opening moments of Pope Francis's Mass at the Phoenix Park. He asked the hundreds of thousands gathered for forgiveness for the crimes committed by the Catholic Church. 

"We ask forgiveness for the abuse in Ireland. Abuses of power, conscience and sexual abuse perpetrated by members with roles of responsibility in the Church.

“In a special way we ask pardon for all the abuses committed in various institutions run by male or female religious members of the church and we ask for forgiveness for those cases of exploitation through manual work that so many young women and men were subjected to.

"We ask forgiveness for the times that as a church we did not show survivors of whatever kind of abuse compassion and the seeking of justice and truth through concrete actions. We ask for forgiveness."

He asked forgiveness of the historic crimes committed and the pain caused to generations of Irish by the sexual and physical abuse perpetrated by the Catholic Church. 

He ended his opening speech by asking forgiveness to those mothers and children who were separated from their families and each other by the Catholic Church. He said, "this is not a mortal sin".

15.00: Many having traveled through the night, hundreds of thousands of devout Roman Catholics and fans of Pope Francis trudged through the muddy ground at the Phoenix Park to attend the historic event. The old, young, family groups and representatives from around the world have arrived in Dublin to celebrate their faith and see the Pope.

Crowds are streaming in to the Phoenix Park ahead of Pope Francis’s Mass at 3:30pm. Despite the damp weather spirits seem high among the expected 500k people attending. For more news and analysis visit https://t.co/TIDa5i4mpi pic.twitter.com/2F1JRDrotu

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) August 26, 2018

Dublin city center is all about the @Pontifex merch this weekend! IrishCentral will be live from Phoenix Park this afternoon for the historic mass.#popefrancis #papalvisit #phoenixpark #phoenixparkmass #popeinireland #knock pic.twitter.com/Qdp2cGwTMF

— IrishCentral (@IrishCentral) August 26, 2018

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