When the Eucharistic Congress came to town
The newly elected Fianna Fail government under the formerly excommunicated Eamon de Valera went all out to show that the Irish Free State was a country in high standing with Rome.
During the High Mass, the 1,500-year-old St Patrick’s Bell was used to mark the solemn moments. The bell was loaned for the occasion by the National Museum of Ireland. Scouts from the newly formed Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland acted as guards at the high altar in the park. The High Mass was followed by a procession to the centre of the city along the North Circular Road and down O’Connell Street, where, at an altar erected on O’Connell Bridge, solemn benediction was imparted by Cardinal Lauri.
The procession to the bridge was some five miles long and was given colour by the hundreds of banners carried by participants who wore the special Congress badge struck for the occasion.