Usually it’s Thomond Park — capacity 26,000 — which packs the sports fans into the city.
However, next Saturday, the Gaelic Grounds — capacity 45,000 — gets its moment in the sun thanks to last Sunday’s draw at GAA headquarters.
City publican Patrick Kelly, who presides over Charlie Malone’s in Wolfe Tone St, said: “Last Saturday, we held a Mass and street party in Wolfe Tone St.
“It was a great evening, with Fr Tom Mangan celebrating the Mass and hundreds of local people came out for the Mass and the street party which went on late. Now we have Kerry and Mayo supporters on their way. We will ensure they will have a great time, win or lose, and I’m sure it might be the first of many big games at the Gaelic Grounds as the visitors will have a day to remember.”
Anthony O’Dwyer, who runs Reddans pub, said: “It promises to be a great occasion and the supporters will enjoy Limerick’s great sports tradition.”
Kerryman Willie Sexton is preparing for a deluge of fans to his pubs in Henry St and Ennis Rd, just a few yards from the Gaelic Grounds. “It’s great for the city and we are really looking forward to a great day,” he said.
“The Gaelic Grounds is a great venue and I’m sure the fans will enjoy their visit.”
Mick Lynch, who works with An Post, is one of the many Kerry fans delighted with the move of the game to Limerick.
Mick, a native of Kilflynn, said: “I have followed Kerry to the four corners of the land. Now I can walk out my front door on the North Circular Rd in Limerick and into the Gaelic Grounds in 10 minutes. It saves an awful of the pain of the travel, not to mind the cost.
“And you can go straight home after the final whistle. A great decision by GAA headquarters.”
Gardaí are putting traffic control measures in place and fans are advised to park in the city centre as the Gaelic Grounds are only 20 minutes walk from O’Connell St.