Limerick U21s win match but fans lose their minibus

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Stolen in the city centre: The Stroller Bar's mini-bus
WITH the clock running down in the Limerick and Tipperary U21 clash last night supporters feared the Treaty men would be robbed of their deserved win.

WITH the clock running down in the Limerick and Tipperary U21 clash last night supporters feared the Treaty men would be robbed of their deserved win.

The last thing fans, who travelled to the match in the Stroller Bar’s eight-seater Hiace minibus, feared was that the 16-year-old vehicle would be stolen.

Spirits were high as they parked around 9.15pm near Gleeson’s Spar in Catherine Street for nourishment before heading back to Ballyneety. In the time it took to collect their grub - it was gone.

Proprietor of the popular establishment and former Limerick hurler, Matt Rea is appealing for the public’s help in getting it back.

“Financially it would be worth very little but it has become part of local folklore. We’ve had it for seven and half years - it was used by the Weigh Inn before that as their bus.

“It has become famous. John Collins in the garage inscribed H1 on the front of it. Everyone calls it H1 [Hiace 1].

“We took it to the Kilmallock match in Dublin, we took it to Thurles on Saturday - we take it everywhere. We’ve gone fishing in it and if we were in Kilkee we would throw a few bags of turf in the back. It has become very well known in this area and is very recognisable,” said Mr Rea.

The sentimental and practical value to the Stroller Bar and its clientele vastly outweighs its monetary value.

“You would imagine if you were going stealing a vehicle it would be the last thing you would steel. We collect people to bring them to the pub and at night we drive everybody home. If some of the lads wanted to go to the disco we would drop them in,” said Mr Rea,

Having to use alternative transport to get home put a bit of a dampener on celebrations.

“We were down after three defeats. Tipp were going for three in a row over us after beating us in the minor and the senior and the way the way the match went and the sending off it was a great result,” said Mr Rea.

He asks anybody who has any information on the theft or knows of its whereabouts to contact Henry Street Garda Station on 061 212400. It is an eight seater green Toyota Hiace - registration 99 D 39008.