EURO 2016

10 times Irish fans were in a league of their own in France

EURO 2016By Alan Sherry
Ireland fans applaud the team, and vice versa, after defeat to France in Lyon
Ireland fans applaud the team, and vice versa, after defeat to France in Lyon

We won't win the Euros but Ireland's title as the greatest fans in the world is in the bag.

During a tournament where crowd violence has reared its ugly head again, there were many moments that genuinely gave Irish people cause to be proud of how we have represented our country during the tournament.

Robbie Brady’s family in the crowd

The picture of Robbie Brady’s teary-eyed brothers and girlfriend after he scored the winner in the Italy victory and later embracing them after the game perfectly sums up the emotion of the entire nation on Wednesday night.  

They embodied the elation, relief, ecstasy, shock and joy every Irish fan watching the game felt on the night. 

Fixing a dent on a car 

When one over-exuberant Irish fan accidentally dented a car during celebrations in Lille this week, fans offered money for the repair work, which they slid in through the door frame. 

But others quickly decided to try and fix the dent. Suddenly chants of “fix the car for the boys in green” could be heard as a group of fans furiously tapped on the roof of the car and managed to completely repair the damage. 

Changing a tyre 

When an elderly French couple got a puncture near a group of Irish fans partying in Montmartre they thought they’d have to call breakdown service. But once the fans spotted they were in bother they rushed over and changed the wheel for them in no time. The couple expressed their gratitude saying “vive l’Irlande” afterwards. 

Clean up for the boys in green

The partying Irish fans left a considerable mess in Bordeaux, mainly consisting of plastic glasses, bottles and cans. While host cities deploy workers to clean up after the fans, they needn’t have bothered in Bordeaux. 

Fans were videoed picking up all the litter in the early hours one morning in singing “clean up for the boys in green”

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You 

Normally a group of boozed-up men surrounding a woman on her own would be considered intimidating. But French model Carla Romera wasn’t unhappy when 100 fans started serenading her with a rendition of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You

“I thought I must be dreaming. I didn’t really know where to put myself, but I soon began to appreciate it. It was done so nicely with good humour,” she said. 

Lullaby 

Irish fans who spotted a young baby on a train in Bordeaux decided to take the decibel level down a notch or two. A carriage full of Irish fans started singing ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ when they spotted the baby. 

While the baby didn’t fall asleep the parents were laughing and smiling at the fans’ impromptu lullaby. 

Stand up for the French police

The night before Ireland’s game with Belgium fans had been drinking at the Connemara pub in Bordeaux. After it closed the French police asked them to move to a nearby tunnel while they continued their sing-song. 

Soon enough a large crowd were singing stand up for the French police and chanting Allez Les Bleus. The cops even got in on the action and started singing “go home for the French police”

Bonding with the Swedes

The Irish and Swedish fans got on like a house on fire in Paris showing how rival supporters can interact without throwing bottles. 

From singing Abba classics and dancing together to Ireland fans singing “go home to your sexy wives” to the Swedes, the two sets of fans both left with good impressions of each other. 

Hungarian reporter 

When a Hungarian TV reporter was doing a live piece on Irish fans he was soon surrounded by well-oiled supporters. Initially they started cheering beside him, before lifting him up in the air and chanting. He continued his live report while mayhem ensued around him. By the end of the report he was wearing a novelty leprechaun hat and considered an honorary Irish fan.

Our Father 

When Irish fans started singing Our Father to a French nun on a train carriage she initially hadn’t a clue what was happening. However, when a local translated what they were singing a smile came over her face. That said, trying to dance with her was probably a step too far.