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View from the Bar: Where Best to Watch Leinster v Toulouse this Weekend!

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Given, win or lose, Leinster competing in the Heineken Cup Final (or Investec Champions Cup Final, as it is called now) every May is something of a given these days, most people who want to watch this week’s Leinster v Toulouse decider from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in London, will know full well where they can catch the action. There’re no novices here, anymore.

But, in the interests of fun (and to fill a void in our weekly newsletter!), we’re taking a quick whistlestop tour around the best boozers in Dublin to catch the match and – hopefully – Leinster finally getting that 5th star on their shirt.

Starting northside, there are plenty of nice pubs in Howth, but we’re calling on The Bloody Stream here – a bit of decent seafood before kick-off, then some nice pints in a cosy setting.

Onto Malahide; we’re sure Fowler’s and ‘Hide institution Duffy’s will have it on the big screen, but you can’t – unless you’re barred – not watch it in Gibney’s, if you’re in the vicinity on Saturday afternoon. Four bar areas in one pub and oodles of viewing points.

If you’re in Clontarf, you might be mourning the demise of Harry Byrne’s pizza truck, but if you’re not famished, you can’t beat the match and pints in one of Dublin’s finest suburban pubs.

Dublin city centre is filled with classic rugby pubs – Baggot Street veterans Doheny & Nesbitt and Toner’s are great and will be packed, but McGrattan’s (in nearby Fitzwilliam Lane) is, so often, a comfy oasis of an alternative. Just over the Grand Canal, then, you have the choice of Smyth’s and The 51, both on Haddington Road, and both a stone’s throw from Searson’s on Lower Baggot Street.

A short walk brings you to Ballsbridge and the four Leinster locals for a home match in the RDS – The Bridge, Crowe’s, Mary Macs, Paddy Cullen’s, and The Horseshow House.

If Ballsbridge is too full, as it can be, you also have the nearby options of Donnybrook – the ancestral home of Leinster Rugby. While legendary venue, Kiely’s is well gone (along with pretty much every pub in Donnybrook), the new focal point for match-watchers, here, is The Morehampton (on the site of the old Madigan’s pub, on the corner of Belmont Avenue and Morehampton Road). A bona fide gastro pub, offering good grub and 6 screens dotted around the main bar area.

Other nearby alternatives worth mentioning are The Bath, on Bath Avenue; and Slattery’s and Beggars Bush close by.

Finally, if the match is too tight for one’s nerves, take a bit of fresh air and high-tail it down to Sandymount to watch the closing minutes (and lap up the celebratory or soul-searching mood, afterwards) in O’Reilly’s and/or Ryan’s Sandymount House. Or, you could just start in any of the above and remain there all afternoon. You, literally, will not be putting a foot wrong.

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