A standing ovation
Roman emperors had a way of placating the masses during times of tumult by providing bread and circuses. The boom may not have left us much to be proud of but we can at least boast two world class stadia in Croke Park and, more recently, the Aviva stadium.
Over the weekend we saw what an exceptional venue it is as it was used to showcase some of the country's up-and-coming rugby talent. Craig Gilroy was the first man to christen the hallowed turf in its new incarnation, but Lansdowne Road has been thrilling sports fans since it first opened its gates in 1872.
By the time it closed in 2007 it had become the longest-serving stadium in the world.