With priests the length and breadth of Ireland clocking up overtime in advance of the Pope’s visit to Ireland this weekend, Paddy Power has also given lapsed Catholics the chance to get a quickie confession before the Pontiff arrives with its latest bit of mischief – a giant drive thru confession box which was built just outside of Phoenix Park.
The idea came from The Public House, a creative agency in Dublin with a history of ‘stick it to the man’ ideas for Paddy Power. In the past year it has partnered with the bookmaker on creating an apparition of the Virgin Mary at Knock Shrine to inspire Mayo in the All-Ireland Final, and installed a 30 foot gold statue of Virgil van Dijk outside Anfield to reflect what his record transfer fee would be worth in gold.
The 40 foot box took three days to build near where Pope Francis is set to give an address to crowds potentially numbering in the hundreds of thousands. “We based this idea on the insight that over 55% of people here in Ireland haven’t been to confession in the past 10 years,” says Colin Hart, Founder and Creative Director of the Public House. “So we’re proud to work with Paddy Power to help with the backlog of confessions, whether it’s secretly cheering for the English in the World Cup or taking more than their share of bread during Storm Ophelia.”
So far, the giant confessional has been picked up by news outlets around the world, including The Washington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Times of London, and Newsweek.