Monday 27 March 2017

In pictures: This west Belfast street shows how sport crosses all divides

'It's not a political thing...it's a bit of banter'

England, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland flags are flying in one west Belfast street ahead of Euro 2016.

They are just some of the 60 flags flying in Iris Drive, off the Springfield Road, that represent each of the qualifying nations in the tournament for a neighbourhood sweepstake.

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Mason Lennon (3) amid Flags for the Euros on Iris Drive on June 02 2016 in Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

 

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Flags for the Euros on Iris Drive on June 02 2016 in Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

The colourful and impressive display was organised by locals who held a sweep for countries and put up flags for participating homeowners.Although only 24 nations qualified for the championship, demand for flags was so high that three separate sweepstakes were carried out so that everyone could join in.

One of the organisers Sandy Turley told the BBC: "Every resident in the street was involved, the kids loved it. "We also had a street party and everyone came out and enjoyed themselves.

"It's not a political thing - it doesn't matter if it's the Republic, Northern Ireland, or England. We like to see everyone represented. It's a bit of banter - I've my money on France but I got Germany in the sweepstake, so I'm not worried."

The neighbourhood sweepstake was the brainchild of local window cleaners and was first started ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

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A Northern Ireland flag is not the most common sight on west Belfast's Springfield Road. But it is one of many flying proudly on one street ahead of the Euro 2016 football tournament. Picture By: Arthur Allison/ Pacemaker Press

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Flags for the Euros on Iris Drive on June 02 2016 in Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

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Mason Lennon , Nicole Lennon and Leithon Rea. Flags for the Euros on Iris Drive on June 02 2016 in Belfast , Northern Ireland ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)

Belfast Telegraph

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