Paddy Power erects drive-thru confession box for Irish sinners ahead of Pope's visit

Irreverent bookmaker Paddy Power is at it again with the stunts, this time erecting a giant drive-thru confessional booth in Dublin that invites Irish Catholics to go from "sinner to winner" ahead of the Pope's visit to the country.

With Pope Francis about touch down on Irish soil, the gambling firm has created a pop-up in the capital that it claims will help punters "clear their conscience on the go".

The box is situated just outside Dublin's Phoenix Park, where crowds of up to 500,000 are expected to gather this weekend for the first papal visit since 1979.

Ahead of the pontiff's mass, Paddy Power wants motorists to visit and get sin-free fast so they can observe the address "minus any Catholic guilt".

A Paddy Power spokesperson said: "Ireland has changed a lot since the last Pope’s visit – gay marriage is legal, we’ve repealed the Eighth Amendment, and even secretly cheered for England in the World Cup.

"With decades worth of sins clocked up since then, we’re providing a convenient means to complete your contrition with your keys still in the ignition."

They added: "And if the Catholic hierarchy have anything they’d like to get off their chests too, they are more than welcome to take a spin through our mega drive-thru confession box while they’re here."

The stunt is likely to stoke up controversy, but it's not like Paddy Power isn't used to it. The brand has come under fire from both the public and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for campaigns decried as "racist" and spots seen to be promoting gambling at work.

In 2014, Pady Power was rapped by the watchdog for "bringing advertising into disrepute" after encouraging people to vote on the outcome of Oscar Pistorius' murder trial. The poster, which promised 'money back if he walks', drew more than 5,000 complaints.

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