Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod
Good Friday Relief for Pubs
The successful court application by Limerick publicans allowing them to open on Good Friday, the day of the big Munster vs. Leinster rugby match, has been broadly welcomed, but publicans just outside the city area are frustrated that they are excluded.
City pubs can open from 6-11:30 p.m., Judge Tom O'Donnell ruled. Premises in Castletroy, Raheen, Dooradoyle, Corbally and Annacotty can also open their doors between these hours.
However, there was dismay elsewhere because publicans in Castleconnell, Boher, Caherconlish, Clonlara and Parteen, who had also been hoping to be included, will not be allowed to open.
"We're really disappointed," said Gareth Walpole of Charco's pub in Castleconnell. "For our customers more than anything it's disappointing. We thought we would be included in the exemption but they we found out we weren't."
At the nearby Black Swan in Annacotty there was celebration, with Michael Nicholas, who works at the pub, saying. "We're delighted. A lot of people don't have (sports channel) Setanta at home so we can cater for them. You'd feel sorry for the pubs that won't be allowed to open, but we're delighted."
The decision was greeted with considerable enthusiasm by city publicans, who had argued that the match could be worth as much as ***7.3 million to the city.
Chaplain with the Brothers of Charity Bawnmore, Father Joe Young, said that any protest outside Thomond Park where the match will be played would be "over the top" when there were more important issues to concern the religious and the city at large.
"We've enough of things to grieve about. I just buried an 18 year-old from suicide, and look at the heroin situation in the city,” he said.
“One of the landmarks in the city is Thomond Park. It lifts people's spirits and gets more young people involved in sport, so they won't be lost to the drug barons. That's the way I feel about it."
The former Southill parish priest urged respect for the wishes of others, even if that includes drinking alcohol on Good Friday. "If we don't we're lacking tolerance, and that's not a society I believe in,” he said.
Meanwhile, Laura Ryan of the Limerick Coordination Office said she felt that Judge Tom O'Donnell had made a very fair decision after some time of deliberation.
"It was a common sense judgment. If you had 26,000 people inside Thomond Park allowed to drink and those outside not, it wouldn’t make sense," she said.
She said businesses in the city would be delighted. "You will have some people who were just going to drive to Limerick for the match and then drive home. Now many of these will stay over," she said.
No Money for Charity
A CAMPAIGN aimed at raising ***1 million for a Mayo-based charity by St. Patrick’s Day has managed to collect just over **2,000.
As millions of people throughout the world were celebrating their Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day, it would appear they were reluctant to help out those in poor circumstances who emigrated to the U.K. in the fifties and sixties.
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