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I write this letter in bewilderment at the state of Munster Rugby today. A team with real potential, they need support but unfortunately the bulk of the supporters don’t live in the city where the team has been decreed to play their games.
The building of the prime rugby venue of the province in Limerick was a flaw. I had to laugh when I read the attendance figures at Thomond Park recently for a Pro 12 game — 13,000. Now the strange thing about that was that the stadium to me looked very empty. Clearly there’s an issue with the computer system totting the numbers coming through the turnstiles.
It would serve all of Munster well if all the Pro 12 league games were moved to Cork and, may I say it, some to Waterford as well.
Munster’s friendly in Waterford last August was a sell-out. Yes, a real sell-out and not an excel spreadsheet bug as happened at the that recent Thomond game.
Last week a prominent rugby pub in Limerick closed — Clohessy’s pub on the quay closed due to lack of turnover and increasing losses. Hopefully that closure will not have gone unnoticed by Munster Rugby.
We can do Thomond Park for Heineken Cup games but spread the Pro 12 about the province please. Limerick people and our newly-arrived Munster supporters club members sometimes need to be reminded that the Cork is the home of rugby in the province. The evidence to support this is clear in the amount of senior cups, AIL’s and the slaying of touring teams that happens in this city. This number far exceeds that of Limerick. Christian Brothers Cork, Presentation Brothers Cork, Cork Constitution and UCC were and still remain the most dominant teams in the province in terms of honours and production of players.
Limerick teams have done well too but only in the last 25 years. I know this letter will ruffle a few feathers in Limerick but I don’t care because I am sick of listening to the rubbish being rammed down my throat from Limerick and Munster Rugby. The truth hurts and beating the All Blacks in Limerick in 1978 does not make up for the rest.
Unfortunately financial sense was never given a fair airing when the decision was made to base the Munster stadium away from the main population centre, but what’s done is done. However, having said that, we should not continue to force the issue. Having Anthony Foley requesting an attendance at Thomond only proves the point further.
“Build it and they will come” was and remains the mantra of ill-fated projects of the past. Well Thomond is built and they are not coming. Move on.
Model Farm Road
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