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Good Friday for rugby fans? Only if we open, say publicans

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Leinster supporters, from left, Stephen Ryan, aged 11, from Killester, Josh Tilly, aged 12, from Killester, and Sam Owens, aged 11, from Clontarf

Leinster supporters, from left, Stephen Ryan, aged 11, from Killester, Josh Tilly, aged 12, from Killester, and Sam Owens, aged 11, from Clontarf

SPORTSFILE

Leinster supporters, from left, Stephen Ryan, aged 11, from Killester, Josh Tilly, aged 12, from Killester, and Sam Owens, aged 11, from Clontarf

Publicans and restaurateurs will lobby the Government to lift the ban on alcohol sales for Good Friday, as Leinster have secured a home game in the Champions Cup quarter-finals.

Leinster fought off a strong comeback from Wasps in a nail-biting match in Coventry on Saturday to secure a draw. They have now progressed to the quarter-finals of the European competition and will have thousands of their loyal 'Blue Army' behind them as they take on Bath over the Easter bank holiday weekend. The match will be held on the first weekend in April, and is likely to be played in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Thousands of English visitors are expected to travel across the Irish Sea for the game, and Donall O'Keeffe from the Licensed Vintners Association has said they will lobby the Government to lift the ban on alcohol sales on Good Friday in the interests of tourism. He said he will be raising the issue with the Minister for Justice in a meeting with her this week.

"This is just another particularly pertinent example of why we need to trade on Good Friday. The rationale for being closed is long past," Mr O'Keeffe said last night.

Adrian Cummins from the Restaurants Association of Ireland said they will be making the same call as businesses in the capital "will be in for a bumper weekend". Failte Ireland said the English visitors will be "a great boost" for the sector.

Irish Independent