Limerick and Kinsale festivals will show epic Croke Park rugby clash

RUGBY fans who can’t make it to Croke Park for the epic Heineken Cup semi-final clash between arch rivals Munster and Leinster can rest easy — the organisers of festivals in Limerick and Kinsale have come to their rescue.

The Cork town will host a feast of oval ball action over the May Bank Holiday weekend as it stages its 21st annual Kinsale Sevens tournament. Organisers plan to show the big match at Croke Park on a big screen.

While in Limerick, another big screen will be placed at George’s Quay to enable fans show their support and savour the atmosphere of the Heineken Cup clash.

Prior to the game, the friars at the nearby Augustinian church will offer a special Mass at 10.15am for Munster.

In Kinsale, the harbour town will host 200 games during its Kinsale Sevens, which will be attended by Grand Slam hero Tommy Bowe, selected yesterday to play for the British and Irish Lions in South Africa. A total of 90 teams will take part in the tournament from May 1-3, for a prize fund of e30,000.

They include three French teams, a South African team and a Dutch team. The most unusual entry is a ladies team from the French army.

Adidas Marauders from Britain, will be aiming to win back-to-back titles.

“We are really looking forward to a fun-filled, action-packed weekend to celebrate 21 years of this successful tournament,” director Michael O’Sullivan said.

Pat Maher, Heineken national events and sponsorship manager, said he was really looking forward to celebrating 21 years of the Kinsale Sevens on the weekend when Ireland will be the focal point of rugby in Europe.

In Kinsale limited tickets for the president’s bar will be available and can be purchased for e15 on the door. A weekend pass for the tournament costs e25, while day passes are e15. Under 12 are free as is parking.

In Limerick, the Heineken cup clash has been embraced by the annual Riverfest festival which runs over the May holiday weekend.

It will feature a big continental market featuring cuisine from France, Spain, Holland, Britain and Germany.

Mayor John Gilligan said: “Riverfest gives Limerick the opportunity to showcase all its positive aspects. And wouldn’t it be great if Munster can do the business in Croke Park.”Meanwhile, extra trains will be available for Munster versus Leinster match on May 2. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.

Munster rugby fans can travel on any of the scheduled trains from Cork or Kerry to Dublin and return on any of the extra trains from Dublin Heuston Station that night. An extra train from Kent Station, Cork, on Saturday morning, will depart at 9.45am.

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