Saturday 10 December 2016

Fans choose to stay home over Euro 2016 terror fear

Graham Clifford

Published 29/04/2016 | 02:30

Photo: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire
Photo: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire

One in three Republic of Ireland supporters who had intended on travelling to the European Championships in France this summer have decided to stay at home because of the risk of a terrorist attack there.

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A new survey finds 6pc of the adult population in Ireland (220,000 fans) had initially intended to go to Euro 2016. But the events of November 13 last year changed the minds of many.

A coordinated terrorist attack on a number of Parisian locations, including the Bataclan music theatre and the Stade de France, left 130 people dead.

Despite this there were more than 250,000 applications for tickets from Irish supporters.

The findings of the latest survey by iReach Insights indicate 73,350, or 33pc, of Irish supporters who'd planned to travel decided to stay at home and follow the fortunes of Martin O'Neill's men on the television instead, because of the threat of terrorism.

Of those still travelling to France, 15pc say the terror attacks have had no effect on their travel plans, while 44pc said they are concerned but still plan to travel to matches.

Men are less concerned about the risk of a terrorist attack at Euro 2016 - with only 16pc saying it's a worry, compared with 50pc of female respondents.

The French interior ministry has budgeted €2m for securing "fan zones" which will be swept for explosives before each match.

Security experts predict the safest place for fans to be at Euro 2016 is inside a stadium.

Bryan O'Shea, from Killarney, who will be at Ireland's opening game against the Swedes, told the Irish Independent: "At the end of the day, we can't run in fear from the threat of terrorism.

"Europe needs to stand with Paris - not stay away."

Irish Independent

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