A Good Friday tradition ends in Limerick when alcohol will be on sale in city for the Munster Leinster rugby clash.

In Limerick pubs and bars are open for business on Good Friday instead of remaining shut. Publicans have been granted a special legal exemption because of the Munster v Leinster rugby match. 

Mornings for Limerick city publicans consist of the daily tasks like cleaning the glasses and restocking fridges. and activity this morning is no different, despite the fact that it is Good Friday, a day when up to now, pubs and bars traditionally keep their doors shut. 

This year a legal exemption has been granted to allow businesses serving alcohol to trade as normal, because of the Munster Leinster rugby match that will take place this evening when 26,000 fans will fill Thomond Park. 

Thousands more are expected to fill the city's pubs and bars, which will open at 6pm and close at 11.30pm. The economic benefit of the rugby match to Limerick is estimated to be €7 million. 

David Hickey from Limerick Vintners' Federation hopes that everyone will enjoy the occasion,

This is the biggest sporting occasion in Limerick for the full year, and we’re really looking forward to it.

Not everyone is pleased that alcohol is being served in the city today, in particular Catholic Church authorities who say they are disappointed with the break in tradition. 

Church doors will as usual be open to all who wish to attend religious services. However Father Paul Finnerty from the Limerick Diocese says he feels, 

 A certain sense of sadness that people are faced with having to make this decision.

Councillor Jim Long from Limerick City Council believes that this Good Friday in Limerick is simply offering people more choices than usual,

There’s only one clash in Limerick today and that’s the clash between Munster and Leinster.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 April 2010.The reporter is Joan O’Sullivan.