Snakes alive! A centuries old tradition is toast this Good Friday: Irish pubs will stay open all day!

Until now Good Friday has been completely off-limits as one of the only two "dry" days in the Irish calendar, the other being Christmas Day, when Irish pubs lock their doors and do without business.

But on Tuesday a Limerick judge ruled that the city's 110 pubs can stay open this April 2 because the city is hosting a major Irish rugby match attracting tens of thousands of visitors.

The local public has overwhelmingly backed the unprecedented move, but Roman Catholic leaders are aghast.

Good Friday is the most solemn day in the Catholic calendar, it marks the day when Jesus Christ was crucified. Local clergy are astonished by the judge's ruling and are making no secret of their objections.

The monks who live near Limerick's rugby stadium said today that they will be praying and protesting outside the gates as 26,000 rugby fans arrive.

It's a case of piety for religions sake but Euros for God's sake.