While thousands flocked to Ireland to see the Emerald Isle Classic game between University of Notre Dame and Navy football teams, many in South Bend, home of Notre Dame, chose to stay local and headed for the their favorite bar or restaurant to catch the game on TV.
ABC 57 News from South Bend, Indiana, the hometown of The Fighting Irish, reported on the local bars and restaurants stretching their hours to welcome the football fans.
Sue Mulligan, co-owner of Mullingan’s said, "We got about $1,000 dollars worth of food product in for our breakfast Buffet." The bar allowed patrons to eat all they could until the food ran out around noon.
In order to accommodate The Fighting Irish fans, the bar, which usually opens up at 11am, had staff in and preparing at 5am. Many bars in the area bumped up opening to 7 or 8am, many of which were met with fans already lining up outside for the hotly anticipated football showdown.
While around 35,000 fans flew to Dublin to watch the Notre Dame - Navy early kick off match, one ND fan chose to drive 5 hours to South Bend to watch the game at Mulligans. Michael Emmert said, "Actually it was kind of a home game for me getting to come up to Notre Dame and hang out at the bar and watch the game."
Shane McCarthy, however, a native from Cork and graduate from Notre Dame was a little disappointed not to be in Ireland for the game, but found comfort at O’Rourke’s Public House. McCarthy said, "It's a really big occasion over in Ireland so it's really disappointing not to be over there. Five of us are over here from Ireland to do a masters at Notre Dame."
Check out the local ABC report from South Bend, IN here: