Categories of Special Interest
Architectural, Historical, Social, Technical
In Use As
1975 - 1980
Freestanding steel cross, erected 1979, on granite flagged platform on grass-covered mound approached by flight of thirty-three granite flagged steps. Set in Phoenix Park.
A cross erected to designs by Ronnie Tallon (1927-2014) of Scott Tallon Walker as the backdrop for an outdoor Papal Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) on his first and only pastoral visit to Ireland. The cross whose steel "I"-beams were produced by J. and C. McGloughlin (established 1875), Inchicore, required 5 kilometres of welding, stands 35 metres tall, weighs 31 tonnes, and took a number of attempts to lift into place owing to high winds. The Papal Mass, attended by a congregation of one million, is commemorated by a plaque inscribed: "Moladh go deo le Dia [Praise be to God]/Pope John Paul II offered mass as this place/in the presence of more than one million people/on 29th September 1979/Be converted every day". The cross, a considerable feat of engineering rather than a piece of sculpture, was temporarily encased in a Hollywood Bowl-like shell when a second Papal Mass was celebrated by Pope Francis on 26th August 2018.