Mr Barnier was photographed with Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and his partner Matthew Barrett before the match. His visit to Ireland comes as Theresa May has still reached no solution with the EU on the thorny issue of solving the problem of the Irish backstop after Brexit. The Prime Minister’s allies have said her plane was on standby at RAF Northolt to take her to talks to secure EU concessions on her exit deal.
It is understood Mr Barnier is attending the match in Dublin with his two sons.
People have taken to Twitter to wish the EU grandee an “enjoyable Irish weekend”.
Gerard Byrne tweeted: “I wish the wonderful Michel Barnier and family an enjoyable Irish weekend.
“Hopefully an Irish rugby win won’t diminish his support for the Ireland’s backstop?”
Conor Reidy tweeted: “I hope they’re bringing Michel Barnier to a good pub because the rugby is looking a bot of a write off.”
Before this meeting, Ireland had only scored one try in the last four meetings between the two teams.
After Brexit, the UK will be no longer in the EU single market and customs union and so the two parts of Ireland could be in different customs so products could be checked at the border.
Many MPs are opposed to the Irish backstop, which is the insurance policy designed to prevent a hard border in Northern Ireland by keeping the UK in a customs union with the EU.
A vote on the deal is expected to take place on Tuesday.