Monday 21 January 2019

Snow stops rugby heroes' return, sports events and street carnival

Photo: Sportsfile
Photo: Sportsfile
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

The homecoming for Ireland's rugby heroes was the biggest event to fall victim to the wintry weather.

The country's biggest St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin escaped the snow on Saturday, but a host of outdoor events as part of the city's five-day festival, which had been due to take place yesterday, were cancelled.

Likewise, sporting fixtures across the east, midlands and the southeast were called off due to the weather conditions.

Up to 30,000 rugby fans had been due to attend the homecoming event for the Grand Slam-winning Irish rugby players at the Aviva Stadium yesterday afternoon.

However, just hours before the festivities were due to begin, the IRFU was forced to cancel the celebrations due to "heavy snowfall".

Captain Rory Best said the team were disappointed that the event couldn't go ahead.

The team's flight home to Ireland from Heathrow was also delayed by the weather.

Organisers of the St Patrick's Day Festival in Dublin cancelled the Big Day Out, the day-long street carnival in Merrion Square, along with the 5km road race through the city centre.

Other outdoor events that fell foul of the weather included a Suffragette walking tour, a Guinness walking tour of the Liberties, a poetry trail and the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival in Howth.

People hoping to attend events today are advised to check the festival website and social media in advance to see if they are going ahead.

However, in the West, driving snow failed to dampen the spirits of competitors at the 48th Limerick International Band Championship, which is held as part of the city's St Patrick's celebrations.

Thousands of spectators lined the streets to cheer the 1,300 musicians from 20 bands who took part, with Youngsville High School crowned the winners.

A number of sporting fixtures were also cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions.

The Leinster Rugby Schools Senior Cup final between Belvedere and Blackrock at the RDS was cancelled. It will instead take place this Friday at 2pm.

In GAA, the Allianz Football League Division Four clashes between Waterford and Leitrim and Wicklow against Limerick were cancelled, with the latter rescheduled for today.

Offaly's clash with Sligo in Division Three has also been postponed.

The Allianz Hurling League quarter-finals between Dublin and Tipperary, Galway's clash with Wexford, Offaly against Kilkenny and Limerick versus Clare also fell victim to the weather.

The matches have been rescheduled for today.

However, some sporting fixtures went ahead, including the Allianz Football League Division 1 match between Dublin and Galway, which ended in a draw at Pearse Stadium in Galway.

Meanwhile, the race meetings at Navan and Limerick were also cancelled following course inspections.

Irish Independent

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