Wednesday 13 December 2017

From Donnybrook to Dunedin, 'it was a blooming great day'

Luke Byrne

WHEN the final whistle sounded, a loud roar bellowed out from Donnybrook to Dunedin.

Despite the early start, more than 500 fans turned up at Kiely's pub in south Dublin to cheer on the boys in green for yesterday's crucial rugby World Cup match against Italy.

For one man wearing the green, the victory was extra sweet -- it was the first match he'd watched as an Irish citizen.

Simon Hughes, originally from Sydney, Australia, had his application for Irish citizenship accepted last week.

"I'm swimming against the tide, but that's alright," Mr Hughes said as he watched the match in Kiely's with his wife Olivia and children Ellen (4), Rian (2) and seven-month-old Allannah.

"I've watched most of the matches at home, but I wanted a bit of atmosphere today, so I came down and it's been a blooming great day," he added. With a match start time of 8.30am, the pub could not serve alcohol during the game, but that didn't bother the scores of rugby fans who turned up to enjoy the action.

"We've been open for every match. We've done great business," Keily's manager John Gallagher told the Irish Independent.

Irish Independent

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