*Clare and Limerick supporters on O’Connell Street. Photograph: John Mangan

ENNIS publicans have said the income generated from Sunday’s Munster senior hurling championship is on bar with their busiest Christmas nights.

Cusack Park had a capacity crowd of 20,055 for the keenly awaited meeting of Clare and Limerick in the Munster senior hurling championship in Ennis on Sunday. A three point loss was recorded by Brian Lohan’s side but cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants in the town certainly counted it as a successful day out.

Supporters were in the town early on Sunday morning until late with musicians also adding to the pre and post-match atmosphere in Ennis.

Owner of Patrick’s Bar, Cian Guilfoyle said they matched their busiest Christmas nights with the level of revenue from Sunday. “It was a great day all round bar the result. We had a good mix of supporters before and after the game, there was a fantastic atmosphere between both sets of fans,” he told The Clare Echo.

“Days like Sunday are crucial to keeping the pub trade alive in Ennis,” Cian is one of the youngest publicans in the county stressed. “It’s obvious from Sunday that Clare is up there with the best supporters in the country, and goes without saying we really appreciate the custom we get from them on match day,” he added.

CEO of Ennis Chamber, Margaret O’Brien noted that the feedback from businesses in the town was very positive. “There was a very good bounce for the town. These championship matches bring a much needed boost to the town and are very welcome. The atmosphere started to build from the arrival of the first train from Limerick around 9.30”.

Owner of the Temple Gate Hotel, Paul Madden outlined, “From a business perspective for the town, Ennis like every other town in Ireland has had a tough couple of months this year, the weather has been horrendous but Sunday was just fantastic, to have 20,000 people around the streets of Ennis, sunshine and people in good spirits, grabbing a bite to eat, a drink or whatever it was, they were still there until 7pm on Sunday night most of them, it was brilliant for the town. Events make a town whether they are sporting events or otherwise, Cusack Park is such a fantastic venue because it is literally in the middle of town, you are two minutes from everything”.

Speaking on The Water Break, The Clare Echo’s sporting podcast, the Ennis hotelier commented, “Definitely Sunday afternoon was very busy. Whenever there is a big match on in the Park we’d be busy in the Temple Gate but it is only a handful of times in the year when you’d look up O’Connell Street and see the amount of people that we saw. Since the round robin series for the senior hurling championship has kicked in, the two home games always draw big crowds and no more so than Limerick, they came in droves and were there since 10am, it definitely was a great day”.

With Cusack Park confirmed as the venue for the Munster SFC final on May 5th, a strong Kerry support mixed could see them record another bounce next weekend. “I would be encouraging the Kerry lads to come up for the weekend. For the atmosphere and the game itself we see that Clare hurlers get a huge following, a few more might have gone to Waterford if it didn’t clash on the same weekend as the hurling match but I expect that with the game in Ennis you will get a very big Clare crowd to attend, I’d really expect that and I hope it is the case because the lads deserve to get as much support as they can because everyone of those Clare footballers was in the stand on Sunday watching the hurlers and we’d like the public to come out and support them,” Paul said.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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