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Tuesday 27 September 2016

Irish fans head to City of Light

Ciara Treacy

Published 13/02/2016 | 02:30

Deirdre Hennessy, from Clonakilty, Cork, and Mike O’Neill, from Aghada, Cork, at the Eiffel Tower in Paris ahead of Ireland’s clash against France. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Deirdre Hennessy, from Clonakilty, Cork, and Mike O’Neill, from Aghada, Cork, at the Eiffel Tower in Paris ahead of Ireland’s clash against France. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Ireland fans Rory Flanagan and Grainne McQuillan, from Dublin, heading to France at Dublin Airport last night. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Paris may be the city of love but Irish rugby fans are hoping it will also be the scene of victory when they go head to head with Les Bleus this afternoon.

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Last night, fans began their voyage to the City of Light via Dublin Airport.

Dubliners Rory Flanagan and Gráinne McQuillan, from Ranelagh, were planning on catching the game amidst their Valentine's Day celebrations.

"It was a great birthday present from me to him," Gráinne said as they made their way through departures.

"We're staying until Sunday night so will do all the sightseeing before the match."

Rory - who plays rugby with Bective Rangers - remained optimistic that the match wouldn't end in heartache.

"The French team has changed its front row so it should make an interesting match-up," he said.

"Last week was good so hopefully we can get more of the same."

Deirdre Hennessy and Mike O'Neill, from Cork, visited the Eiffel Tower yesterday with their tricolour in tow.

"Fingers crossed they hold it together," Mike said.

"It's been a while since they've managed to get the double on France, so fingers crossed they'll get it over the line."

The draw against Wales in the Aviva last Sunday has spurred fans on, although they remain cautious of what may be in store today.

"It was a good game last week with a good result but you never know with the French," said Martin McGloin, from Termonfeckin, Co Louth. "Paris can be tough."

Gareth Mallen, from Monaghan - who is a coach with Monaghan Rugby Club - shared that opinion but admitted: "I really don't know what way it's actually going to go."

Leisure

Win or lose, it will be a weekend of leisure for James Hyland, Co Laois, Conor Dooley, Co Tipperary, and Tessa Hartnett, Co Kildare.

"We didn't go to the game last week, we just watched on the TV," said Tessa.

"We decided we would get tickets for this one and make a weekend of it. We're staying in the city centre."

The group agreed the return of some key members of the Irish squad would lift the spirits of fans.

Irish Independent

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