Pubs to open on Good Friday

Pubs in Limerick have been given permission by the courts to open on Good Friday this year.
A group of publicans made an application to the court to be allowed to sell alcohol on Good on the grounds that a Magners League rugby match at Thomond Park between Munster and Leinster was a ‘special event’.

The special exemption from the law that bans the sale of alcohol in Ireland on Godd Friday allows the sale of drink between the hours of 6pm and 11.30pm.
The match kicks off at 8.05pm on the evening of Good Friday.

The state had opposed the application on the grounds that it was not a special event but rather an event taking place on a special day. 

Munster Rugby sign de Villiers

Munster Rugby have just announced that they have signed South African centre Jean De Villiers.

de Villiers, who made his first senior-level appearance for the Springboks in November 2002 against France, joins Munster at 28 years of age.

A Rugby quadruple for 8 Munster Rugby Lions?

As the chance of a historic treble for 14 Munster Rugby players gets closer, yesterday saw the emergence of a possible 2009 Quadruple for 8 of them.

For Paul O’Connell and 7 of his Munster team mates, there is an opportunity to take home 4 major honours this year;
Having already won the 6-Nations Grand Slam with Ireland, they are hot favourites for the Magners League and have taken a step closer to retaining the Heineken Cup.
If they overcome Leinster in the semifinal of that competition and go on to win the Final on May 23rd, 8 of the team depart for the Lions Tour of South Africa the next day already having achieved a historic Treble.

Then comes the chance to cap it off by winning the Lions Tour test series against the Springboks….What a year it would be!

Paul O’Connell to captain Lions | British & Irish Lions tour of South Africa 2009

Munster Rugby  skipper, Paul O’Connell, has been named as captain of the Lions team to tour South Africa next month

The team that has just been annopunced includes a 14 of the Grand-Slam winning Irish squad. with 8 of them coming from the Munster team.

O’Connell becomes the tenth Irish captain of a Lions touring party and the 8th since the second World War.

Munster Rugby – The Treble is on!

Following the historic success of Ireland in the 6 nations last weekend, the vision in Munster Rugby circles has switched to dreams of a Treble for so many of the Munster players.

This is not to disrespect in any way whatsoever the achievement of Ireland and the contribution of non-Munster players. In fact it was a source of great pride to see the national team play as one again and dispelling talk of internal cliques.

The reality is, however, that for 11 Munster players who played for Ireland during the 2009 6 nations championship there is an opportunity to complete an unprecedented treble this year.
1. The Grand-Slam has already been done with Ireland
2. They are leading the Magners League
3. They have qualified for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup and are currently 7-4 favourites to retain it with PaddyPower

Retaining the Heineken Cup will not be easy and they have some difficult games ahead of them but they  never had it easy either in 2006 or 2008 when they emerged victorious. Now that the stereotype of the Irish good loser has been blown away for ever, the sky is the limit!

Six Nations Fixtures 2009 – European Rugby

Well, a new year is upon us and the 6-nations Rugby season is fast approaching.

Every year I struggle to remember who is playing who ….and when! My lack of attention even meant I got married on the day that Ireland beat England at Twickenham in 2006 to win the Triple Crown, now no self respecting Irish Rugby fan would deliberatley plan that, would he?

Since then I’ve taken note of all the 6 nations fixtures very early so that if I’m planning anything, I’ll be aware of any clashes.
For anyone with a similar disposition, here is the full 2009 fixtures list: Continue reading

Soccer in Thomond park?, the home of Munster Rugby

Thomond Park, the home of Munster rugby, could play host to a high profile soccer competition in summer 2009.

The newley revamped venue in Limerick was recently approved by UEFA for use as a soccer venue and Munster Rugby bosses are already believed to be in negotiation with clubs from the Premier League in England and La Liga in Spain with a view to hosting a tournament next summer.

Sources close to the negotiations have said that they hope to have details finalised before the New Year.