Tuesday 27 September 2016

Medal of honour: Jamie and 100,000-strong Green Army the toast of Paris

Published 08/07/2016 | 02:30

Jamie Monaghan with his dad Philip and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, after the award was presented in the French capital last night
Jamie Monaghan with his dad Philip and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, after the award was presented in the French capital last night

Euro 2016 may be over for Ireland's supporters, but they were bestowed with a very special honour in Paris yesterday.

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Diehard Ireland fan Jamie Monaghan (17) was in Paris with his dad Philip to accept an award on behalf of the 100,000 fans who travelled to the championships.

Jamie was proud and delighted to accept the prestigious 'Médaille de la Ville de Paris' from the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, last night in recognition of the exemplary behaviour of the Green Army.

He had travelled around France for Euro 2016 with his family in a specially customised wheelchair signed for him by the Irish squad.

Jamie made French and Irish news during the tournament when his 'Jamie on Tour' flag was robbed outside a camper home in which he and his father were staying before Ireland's epic win over Italy on June 22.

The young Meath man was also denied access to a fan zone in Paris because of security fears about specially adapted flags on his wheelchair.

However, his sister Aoife said that neither incident put a dampener on their trip and that yesterday's ceremony was the highlight.

"We're all chuffed to bits, especially my dad. We are all very proud," she told the Irish Independent. "Hopefully, it will help Jamie become more recognised at matches and tournaments and more people will follow his journey. He is very proud to represent his country in Paris.

"We thought our championships were over and had just returned home after the France game when [FAI chief] John Delaney rang and asked if Jamie would do him a favour by picking up the award. It's a huge honour."

Irish Independent

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