Words: Dray Morgan
Words: Dray Morgan
Sure, we know Ireland have launched a joint bid with the UK to host Euro 2028, but we dipped into the archives and reckon there’s enough iconic fan moments to show we could host the whole thing ourselves.
Every time Ireland find themselves in a major international tournament, absolute gems of culture are born. With the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and Casement Park in Belfast being submitted to be host venues for the 2028 European Championships, let’s hit the archives and unearth some of those gems from the tournament history of the Boys in Green.
The atmosphere is electric as 500 Irish fans are about to set off to Genoa from Dublin airport before taking a ferry to the Italian island of Sardinia. Only to add to the excitement, the first group game of Ireland’s first ever World Cup was against the English.
Although the English fans were condemned for their violence whilst in Italy, it was reported that not a single Ireland supporter was arrested before the tournament.
“We’re just here to have a good time.” seemed to be the theme of the trip. Nevertheless, the match finished a satisfactory 1-1 and it was only up from there for Ireland’s best ever World Cup run.
After Ireland beat Romania on penalties to advance them to the quarter finals of Italia 90, Dublin was alive with fans and those just out for the craic. Archive footage shows the chaos that ensued on O’Connell St as Ireland managed to get this far without winning a single game within 90 minutes.
Out at Walkinstown roundabout, the chants of ecstatic football fans and car horns filled the air as a sea of green flooded the streets.
Ireland had to head Iran’s capital, Tehran, for the qualifying game which resulted in them heading to the 2002 World Cup. Irish fans congregated on Tehran’s Bobby Sands St. Headscarves were required by law so female fans from both countries donned green fabrics around their heads in a heartwarming intercultural gesture.
The Boys in Green went in with a 2-0 advantage on aggregate which meant that their 1-0 loss to Iran was good enough to book them a ticket to Japan.
As well as having a great tournament, Euro 2016 was the stage to show how truly wholesome Irish football fans can be. One of the most iconic moments from the never ending list of good deeds the fans seemed to do was the group effort to fix a car with a huge dent in the roof.
Half a dozen Irish fans surrounded the vehicle, took precautionary measures to make sure not to break the windows and then began to bang on the car all, whilst chanting “fix the car for the Boys in Green”. Sensational.
In a tournament which saw levels of aggression like never before from mostly English and Russian supporters, once again the Ireland fans stepped in to add a bit of pleasantry to the occasion. Green as far as the eye can see, with hands outstretched cheering for an unknown older gentlemen and booing when he retreated into his apartment above the Harp Bar Irish Pub in Paris.