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DATELINE /IRELAND

A Smiling Nation Comes to Standstill

June 12, 2002

The only people who seemed to be working in Ireland at lunchtime Tuesday were the bartenders as the nation watched the national team advance to the round of 16 after its 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

"No one's planned any work for this afternoon," said Frank McKenna, a 31-year-old IT manager who watched the match with around 400 others in the Waterloo pub in central Dublin.

Most shops and offices closed for an extended lunch break for the game, which kicked off at 12:30 p.m. local time, with many businesses providing televisions to ensure employees stayed at work.

Compiled by Jim Barrero

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