Brisk trade in historic first as bars stay open


LIMERICK:PUBS IN Limerick did a brisk trade last night as the city’s bars opened for business in a historic reversal of the Good Friday drinks ban.

At the White House on O’Connell Street, manager Glen McLoughlin was in in high spirits as he catered to rugby fans bound for the Thomond Park match.

“There’s a good buzz about the town. We’re happy all round and there has been no hassle at all.”

Mr McLoughlin added that he had found it a little odd to find himself behind the bar. “It’s so strange to be opening the door of a pub on Good Friday. I’m here 10 years and this is the first time I’ve done it.”

He was looking forward to a pleasant evening, and said he did not believe that hordes of drinkers had come to Limerick just to party. “I think there was a little bit of scare-mongering going on. They were talking about coach-loads of lager louts but that was never going to happen – it was all hype really.”

On their way to the Munster vs Leinster game were mother and daughter Margaret and Jenny O’Sullivan, from Dooradoyle.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” said Margaret, a keen Munster supporter. “It should be a great game and I don’t see the harm in it being on Good Friday.”

Leinster supporters had been arriving since early afternoon and their street presence created a typical match day atmosphere.

Rory McCormack had travelled from Dublin. “There has been a lot of talk about this game,” he said, “but at the end of the day it’s only a match. I honestly don’t see what all the fuss is about.”

Out at the stadium, rugby supporters were greeted by Franciscan friars who handed out holy cards in a bid to gently remind fans of the Christian significance of the day.

The cards carried “some of Christ’s last words from the cross”, said Br Shawn O’Connor, along with a 2007 Lenten message from Pope Benedict. It said: “Look at Christ pierced on the cross – he is the unsurpassing revelation of God’s love.”