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Monday 24 July 2017

Trap takes time out from one cliffhanger for another

Barry Duggan

GIOVANNI Trapattoni took time out from steering Ireland toward the European Championships to help out another campaign yesterday.

The Republic of Ireland football manager fulfilled a long-standing commitment to travel to the Cliffs of Moher to boost the attraction's chances in its campaign to be named one of the new 7 wonders of nature in a competition that ends next month.

'Trap' had initially intended to travel to the spot in July, but postponed his visit due to industrial action being undertaken by SIPTU workers at the cliffs at the time.

The Italian braved the Atlantic winds to capture the view of the ocean from the 600ft-high cliffs.

Accompanied by assistant manager Marco Tardelli, he said: "I have heard a lot about the Cliffs of Moher.

"I am very familiar with long campaigns and hope that November can be a month when Ireland achieves success in both the Euro 2012 play-offs and the new 7 wonders of nature campaign."

He compared the tourist attraction to that of another world famous site.

"It is fantastic. I was also in America in Grand Canyon. It (Grand Canyon) is different, but this is very, very beautiful," Mr Trapattoni said.

As is his nature, the football manager's musings were interspersed with his native Italian.

"I think these cliffs are very, very spettacolare (spectacular)," he said.

Mr Trapattoni said he hoped to return to the cliffs when the weather was less harsh. "Maybe when I will be on holiday, or if we qualify."

The nation's hopes of qualifying for next year's Euros in Poland and Ukraine rest on the outcome of two matches against Estonia next month -- but the manager was giving little away. "It is not easy, but we are optimistic," Mr Trapattoni said.

The iconic Co Clare landmark was shortlisted in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition in July 2009, along with 27 other sites, from more than 440 participants representing 220 countries.

Among the other shortlisted sites are the Amazon Rainforest (South America), Table Mountain (South Africa), Black Forest (Germany), Vesuvius (Italy), The Great Barrier Reef (Australia) and The Grand Canyon (USA).

The official New 7 Wonders of Nature list, which is subject to a worldwide poll, will be declared on November 11, 2011.

The Swiss non-profit New 7 Wonders Foundation expect to collect a total of one billion votes.

See Sport, Page 97

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