A Guide to Thomond Park for Leinster Virgins

BombAhead of this weekend’s derby clash in Thomond Park I thought I would share some pointers for those Leinster fans on their first trip to the fine city that is Limerick. While I am unfortunately unable to make it down this year, the points contained below are based on the trips I have made in the past. In no particular order, they may just make your weekend or save your life.

  • Thomond Park is situated in Limerick, a colony that is positioned left (down a bit) of the Pale on any good map of Ireland
  • On derby day, you are either red or blue. Nobody cares if your Mother is from Foxrock and your Father is from Adare. If you are on the fence, you are wasting a ticket
  • Don’t be scared, they can smell fear
  • Try the local delicacy, it’s called Supermacs
  • Don’t worry if you can’t understand the locals, they won’t understand you either

    Hanging baskets were invented in Limerick in the 1450’s and the city is widely regarded as having some of the finest examples in the world today. Take a moment to enjoy these simple yet elegant plant holders.
  • Never mention the name Felipe Contemponi, don’t even think it
  • There is a Brown Thomas in the city centre but do not go shopping. You may already be a walking stereotype so no need to go full tilt with the BT accessories
  • There is plenty of multi storey parking in the O’Connell Street area. Very handy
  • If you drive down do not leave the Leinster flags on the car when you park. I have no sympathy for you if you do
  • If you get the supporters bus down, don’t tell anyone, even other Leinster fans. These people are known by some as ‘Bus Wankers’
  • Have a pint in the city centre and walk to the ground. It’s a nice walk and if you cross the Ennis Road bridge (it has a small island), the Strand Hotel can be used for pit stops before you sally forth. You could also have another pint.
  • If you must take a bus to the ground then you can get one from the Dunnes Stores on Henry Street. They are fairly regular
  • Don’t go to Flannery’s or Clohessy’s just because everyone else is. There are a few nice pubs dotted around the Thomas Street and Bedford Row area

    There will be this……
  • If a young lad offers to sell you a pony, politely decline (unless you really need it)
  • When in Thomond signify the quantity of drinks required by tapping on the three stars above the Leinster crest. Two taps means 6 so adjust accordingly. They love it when you do that
  • Any verbal argument with a local fan can be resolved by again tapping the three stars, make sure you have your chin raised. They may respond with two fingers but don’t be offended, they only have two stars
  • They have a broad selection of wines in Thomond. White or red. These can be purchased in plastic pint glasses
  • There is a museum in Thomond to mark their many great achievements including some victory over New Zealand (?). Don’t worry if you miss it, you can catch the play which will never get old
  • Go to the Dugout bar in Thomond, it’s an assault on the senses so embrace it. A really good spot that is far better than the Laighin Out (sorry folks)
  • If you are peckish, there is typically a chip van on the road just down from the Dugout (Southeast side of the ground). They sell frozen burgers with Bundy buns. Nicer than any burger in the RDS and a quarter of the price
  • The seated levels in the East and West stands are by far the best spots in the ground so tough biscuits if you don’t have tickets for either

    …..and probably a bit of this
  • If you are in the East or West terrace (pitchside) go early as your view may (definitely will) be blocked by the throngs and inevitable over enthusiastic flag waving
  • The North and South terraces are standing so don’t be scared to use your elbows and for the love of God try and band together with other Leinster fans
  • Munster fans are at times very vocal during the match, it is impossible for Leinster fans to understand what they are saying, it’s a sort of angry wailing noise so don’t be alarmed
  • Be respectful, don’t laugh too loudly every time Keith Earls misses a tackle
  • It is possible to make the match, savour the blue magic and make it back to Ranelagh for last orders before hitting McSorleys to dance the night away with Leo Avuva’a

Finally, be sure to enjoy the game, the great city and brilliant locals.

Feel free to contribute any helpful hints you have and as always any abuse can be directed to @dbkinch

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