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Publicans left crying into their unsold beer as fans drown sorrows at home


 Fans at the Aviva. Picture: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Fans at the Aviva. Picture: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Fans at the Aviva. Picture: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

IT would have been a Sunday bonanza similar to an All-Ireland final, but the capital's publicans lost out too.

Some of Dublin's best-known watering holes suffered a post-match gloom following Ireland's heartbreak defeat to New Zealand at the Aviva.

Pub owners were left counting the cost of the All Blacks' last-minute win that prevented Ireland from making a piece of rugby history.

One bar boss reckoned pubs, clubs and restaurants lost out on up to €5m that would have been spent on a massive celebration'.



While try-scorers Conor Murray and Rob Kearney and man-of-the-match Sean O'Brien unwound in style in new celeb hotspot Everleigh Garden in Harcourt Street, most fans simply went home.

Several New Zealand players toasted their remarkable comeback victory in Harcourt Street nightclub Krystle, staying until the early hours.

The drinks were on the house, though the bar bill is believed to have been more than €1,000 as management popped bottles of Cristal champagne.

Managers and owners of sports bars throughout Dublin said most punters were overcome with disappointment after a fiercely fought contest.

Publican Charlie Chawke lamented that business owners couldn't make the most of the biggest match in the rugby calendar this year.

"We were doing well, but the fact we didn't win meant people weren't in the mood for staying out and having a good time," he said. Mr Chawke, who owns seven pubs in Dublin and two in Limerick, said his Baggot Street pub, Searsons, benefited most from the boost in trade.

However, he criticised the decision to hold the game on a Sunday, saying: "We were very busy, but it was a huge loss for every publican in the city that they didn't have it on a Saturday.

"It was absolutely crazy to have it on Sunday – people have to go home early to get up for work the next morning.

"A match on a Saturday at about four in the afternoon would mean business is twice as busy for publicans in the city compared with a Sunday at 2pm.

"People also go out on a Saturday night, but they don't on a Sunday. It's done for television's sake and they don't take business people or anybody else's opinion into consideration.



"If it was on a Saturday we would have taken in twice as much as we took in. In my case I would have taken in some €60,000 across all my pubs."

Marty Harridge, the manager at Sinnotts Bar in South King Street, also described the scheduling of the match as "madness".

"We're disappointed that they held it on a Sunday because the All Blacks in town is a big thing. Having the match on Saturday would have meant thousands more in the till for us," he said.