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Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnuala during a private audience yesterday (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kennedy said the Pope will visit Ireland in 2018 for the World Meeting of Families

The Irish flag is seen in late March on top of the General Post Office in Dublin (CNS)

The theme chosen by Pope Francis for the World Meeting is ‘The Gospel of the Family – Joy for the World’

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin (PA)

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the Pope hopes to attend but his participation cannot be confirmed at this stage

Anglican Archbishop Michael Jackson and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin lead an ecumenical Good Friday procession in Dublin (CNS photo/John Mc Elroy)

The trip would likely include the first ever papal visit to Northern Ireland

Pope Francis waves to faithful gathered in St Peter's Square for the Angelus on Sunday (AP)

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Pope Francis gives an off-the-cuff address at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia (AP)

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Pope Francis embraces a young man in a wheelchair during the World Meeting of Families. The next event will take place in Dublin (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

It is not known whether Pope Francis will attend

Pope Francis arrives to the altar to celebrate the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia (CNS)

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the World Meeting Families on the final day of his papal visit to America

People gathered in  Benjamin Franklin Parkway (AP)

The Pontiff’s homily at Mass concluding the World Meeting of Families