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Dublin prepares for the weekend’s festivities

Allan Joseph | Thursday, August 30, 2012

DUBLIN – Some cities would not take well to 40,000 foreign visitors arriving for a single event – much less a foreign game on the same weekend of one of the country’s biggest domestic events.

Suffice it to say, Dublin is not one of them.

Not only is Dublin hosting this weekend’s Emerald Isle Classic between Navy and Notre Dame in sleek and modern Aviva Stadium, but venerable Croke Park (the site of the last Navy-Notre Dame game in Ireland) is hosting the semifinals of the All-Ireland Gaelic Football Championship – with a local team competing.

The city was teeming with thousands of visitors as early as Wednesday morning, with thousands more expected to arrive in the buildup to one of Dublin’s biggest sporting weekends ever. Notre Dame monogrammed apparel is seemingly everywhere, as alumni and fans pour into the city. Pubs around the city are capitalizing on the visitors, with Notre Dame and Navy flags flying over windows advertising “Touchdown Specials.” Best of all, every native we’ve encountered so far has been nothing but excited to welcome us to their city. Rather than complain about the visitors, the Dubliners are viewing it as an opportunity to have an unforgettable weekend of fun.

We’re staying a stone’s throw away from Aviva Stadium, and the facility is nothing short of gorgeous. The band and the team have arrived today, which should only add to the fun. With minimal rain expected through the duration of the weekend, the atmosphere here will be undampened.

There’s much more coverage of the sights of Dublin to come, and of course we’re going to be reporting on the season opener just two days away as well. Stay tuned for more.
Until then, Sláinte!