'I don't think we've realised yet what a hero he is,' says Robbie's proud mum
Published 27/06/2016 | 02:30
Although another Irish victory had been snatched away, the party showed no signs of stopping in Robbie Brady's home town.
Despite the defeat at the hands of France, family, friends and neighbours were spilling out of the Racecourse Inn in Baldoyle, Dublin, following Ireland's face-off with France.
The local man induced euphoria among fans in Lyon and at home with his goal just two minutes into the game. But little of that excitement in Robbie's old stomping ground disappeared after the loss.
Visibly emotional after the gripping match, Robbie's sister Nikki described what had been a whirlwind day for her family.
"We were at home with some family, and we were all screaming and jumping around," she told the Irish Independent. "We couldn't believe it."
Nikki added that the celebrations were only just beginning.
"We'll never stop celebrating. We're so proud of him," she said.
"All of his life, we'll always admire him for what he's done."
Robbie sealed his place in Irish football history with a stunning goal against Italy last Wednesday, securing Ireland's place in the last 16. Although Robbie is guaranteed a hero's welcome when he gets back from Lyon, a taste of the veneration to come was saved for his delighted mum Maria.
Arriving to the pub just minutes after the final whistle blew, Maria was greeted by hearty renditions of 'Mamma Mia'.
"I don't think we're realising what has happened and how much of a hero he is," Maria told the Irish Independent.
"We don't know how much it's going to go down in history yet.
"Robbie is the type whose heart and soul is in it," she added.
"From his heart to his soul to his feet - his whole body is in it."
Meanwhile, Shannon McCormick, a Baldoyle native and friend of Robbie, said: "We've never seen the pub this packed (before), because everyone's so proud."
"Even before he scored the goal, the atmosphere here was amazing," she added.
Shannon (25) said Robbie's future on the pitch had always been clear. But she added that we can expect more from Baldoyle soon, with Robbie's brother Liam set to impress in the future.
"This'll be Liam in a few years," she said. "He'll be next."