'We're off' - Ireland team departs Dublin Airport bound for France and Euro 2016
Published 08/06/2016 | 15:18
Hopefully we won't see them back on our shore for ages.
The 23 players and their backroom team, carrying the hopes of a nation, have left Ireland this afternoon for their base at the Trianon Palace in Versailles.
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The players appeared in good spirits as they climbed aboard the plane.
Ireland begin their Euro 2016 odyssey against Sweden on Monday at the Stade de France.
For many of Martin O'Neill's men it will be their first taste of a major tournament, but John O'Shea is confident his team-mates will cope with the demands.
The defender said: "All the boys have different ways of chilling out, but now we are so close to the game as well, that concentration steps up a little bit, the intensity and quality in training as well steps up.
"It's why you come away playing international football, to get that buzz, and it really increases when you land. When you get a glimpse of the buzz around Paris as well and seeing fans and stuff like that, all that increases."
Ireland its been a pleasure! Lets make history pic.twitter.com/QI9IxQtMdA— Shane Long (@ShaneLong7) June 8, 2016