Pubs ply Cup customers with breakfast deals
THE publicans' lobby group is not pushing for exemptions to serve alcohol during the remaining Rugby World Cup games.
Bars are vying with rugby clubs and other venues to attract customers for the early-morning matches by putting on promotions such as special offer breakfasts.
But the Vintners' Federation of Ireland said members were not getting the boost in business that a traditional Six Nations clash would give them.
VFI chief Padraig Cribben said restrictions were giving pubs the chance to serve more than just alcohol.
But it is understood they fear that applying to sell alcohol earlier than the permitted times of 10.30am between Monday and Saturday and 12.30pm on Sundays, would not appear responsible.
"With 6am and 8.30am kick-offs for Irish matches, licensing laws prevent publicans from serving alcohol during the early hours but that does not mean that premises will not be open," Mr Cribben said.
"Many pubs now serve quality food and an array of non-alcoholic beverages and VFI members have been in touch to say that they are holding special breakfast mornings to entice customers in to enjoy the rugby."
Under the Licensing Acts, only early houses are allowed to sell alcohol earlier. Slattery's Bar and Early House on Dublin's Capel Street has been showing the early morning Irish games. But duty manager Alban Rezdan said customers were more interested in breakfast.
Pubs outside of the capital can apply through the District Court to serve alcohol earlier, but bars within the capital cannot.
Rugby clubs across the country are allowing fans in to watch the games, while thousands packed the O2 in Dublin for the win against Australia.
Meanwhile, Sunday's clash with Italy was watched by 735,000 people on RTE 2, creeping up to 918,000 in the final minutes.