Friday 21 October 2016

No Sleep till Lille: Pearse! Connolly! Limerick Junction! It’s like the Spirit of 1916 all over again

Postcard from the Ledge

Published 22/06/2016 | 18:30

Allright Lads! Listen, sorry I haven’t posted in ages. Had a bit of trouble, and you wouldn’t BELIEVE how hard it is to get an English speaking lawyer who’s up on French trespass law at three o’clock in the morning in Lille.

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Anyhow, the Mother Superior agreed to drop the whole thing after a little donation to the poor box and we’re sticking to B&Bs from now on. I hope Sky News don’t interview her for one of those “Best Fans In the World!” yokes, ‘cos that’s one hard-faced Nun who will deffo be shouting for the Pope’s lads tonight.

But feck that! It’s the big one! Revenge for Schillachi! (nah, I’m not too sure who he is either, but the Da can’t talk about Italia ’90 without looking at me and winking at me Mam. What’s that all about?).

And I don’t know what it’s like at home (had to turn the phone off roaming after getting a scary text from Vodafone) but I’d say the mood here is “Mindless Optimism” (the beer might be a factor).

Sure, the Belgians handed us our arses on a plate. But we’re looking at it this way, we drew one we should have won, lost one we should have drawn (I’m surprised Shane Long isn’t still in casualty after the Belgians went full Bruce Lee on him) so we’re due to win one everybody says we’ll lose.

This is when us Irish are at our best! Backs to the wall, the shells raining down on us from all sides. Pearse! Connolly! Limerick Junction! It’s like the Spirit of 1916 all over again, except the British are multi-millionaire Italian footballers, the GPO is Le Stade Pierre Mauroy (no idea) and Roy Keane has no intention of being taken alive.

By the way, the pitch at the stadium is supposed to be cutting up rougher than Day 3 at the National Ploughing Championships and we’re all hoping that’s gonna put the Italians off their stride.

But I’m not gonna lie to ye, it’s been a long road and we’re all beginning to flag a bit. Near two weeks on the Beer & Baguette diet is starting to take its toll. We were on a tram last night and the lads barely had the energy to sing lullabies to random French babies (one mam made us google the words to Frère Jacques) and give old dears a hand with their shopping. Whether they wanted it or not.

The cash is running low. If we get through to the next round, I might have to send the Mammy up to the Credit Union for another “car loan”. But feck it, we signed up for the duration and we’re here to the bitter end.

Lads, I know the local is gonna be rocking tonight. I know ye would all love to be out here with us. But there’ll be thousands of us roaring them on. Beat these Italian feckers and it’s on to Paris! (or wherever the feck we end up).

Keep singing. And…… KEEP THE FAITH!

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