Sunday 11 December 2016

'She wouldn't marry me unless we got back for Euro 2016' - Newlyweds join 40,000 fans for Eiffel Tower party

Cathal McMahon

Published 11/06/2016 | 18:11

Prenuptial agreements don't come more unusual than this.

  • Go To

When Kevin McKenna asked wife Aoife to marry him she agreed on one condition – that he bring her to Euro 2016.

Aoife Kenna and husband Kevin from Rathfarnham, Dublin with friend Deirdre Dunne at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Aoife Kenna and husband Kevin from Rathfarnham, Dublin with friend Deirdre Dunne at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Fan outside the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Fans outisde the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Brian O'Donnell and Jason Small from Co Tyrone join Tom Baxter from Essex at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Fans watching the France and Romania game at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Irish fans at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris

He kept his promise and last night they tipped down in Paris for the start of the feast of football.

In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower the couple, who are originally from Rathfarnham in Dublin, told Independent.ie that they travelled all the way from Boston , Massachusetts for the games.

Aoife (31) explained that they had planned the trip three years ago when they were still living in Ireland.

“We said 'France, that's easy to get to'. We couldn't really back out then especially after we bought the flights we had no choice.

“That was before we had moved to America. We had already committed.”

Kevin (28) added: “She wouldn't marry me unless we got back for this.”

Fans outisde the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Fans outisde the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris

Aoife laughed: “It was one of the conditions”

The couple got married last year in Tipperary and Kevin held up his side of the bargain.

But getting to the tournament wasn't plain sailing for Aoife and Kevin, who are in France with Rathfarnham friends Nicola Keegan (29) and Deirdre Dunne (29).

Aoife said their flight from Boston was two hours late leaving the airport.

Irish fans at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Irish fans at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris

“We were told that when we arrived the connecting flight would wait for us. But when we arrived there were 30 passengers left stranded in Reykjavik. They told us 'you might be on the flight tomorrow'. We ended up having to buy another flight with Iceland Air just to get here today.

“Otherwise we would still be in Reykjavik.”

The group of friends are travelling to the Ireland and Sweden game in the Stade de France on Monday but haven't decided if they will travel down to Bordeaux for the Belgium clash.

Asked what their predictions are for the tournament Aoife said she was confident that we would progress. “I did my prediction and we got to the semi-finals.”

The group took their place in the huge fanzone alongside 40,000 supporters from around the world. Jerseys from the 24 competing nations and a number of other countries that didn't make it were all on show in the huge arena.

Fears about potential attacks quickly fizzled away inside the zone which is adjacent to the Eiffel Tower.

There were two major security checks before the arena but fans said they moved swiflty through the cordons.

Christine and Val Fitzgerald speak to Independent.ie at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Christine and Val Fitzgerald speak to Independent.ie at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris

Val Fitzgerald (79) and his wife Christine (55) from Co Tipperary were in the fanzone with their son James. Their other son Sean and James's girlfriend are due to join them this weekend to make it a complete family occassion.

Christine explained that there was no way they were missing out on the tournament. “We went to them in Poland and we really enjoyed it and we go to a lot of the away games and we really like it.”

The mum said they were a “tiny bit” concerned about the security threat in France but added that it wasn't going to stop their travels.

Fans watching the France and Romania game at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Fans watching the France and Romania game at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris

“I don't think we can be. It's what we want to do and you can't let it put you off.”

Val laughed off any suggestions that he might change his plans: “I have been going to the games for the last ten or 15 years  with my son. Every match, away or home, he brings us.

“We're soccer mad,” he said. “I won't stop going to the soccer. I'll still tear away. I'll go til I drop. I love it.

“I'm well able, I have no bad health, nothing.

“I was in England for 30 years and I was stuck in soccer over there as well, I'm well used to it.”

For many it was their first experience of an international tournament.

Niall O'Shaughnessy (20) from Blackrock in Dublin and Michael Kelly (21) from Newtown in Co Wicklow said they were “looking forward to the event”.

Niall said he has been working for the last three years to pay for the trip.

“I spent all my savings on this.”

Michael Kelly and Niall O'Shaughnessy at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Michael Kelly and Niall O'Shaughnessy at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris

Michael added: “I have been working there and the parents gave me a little loan to get through the rough patch.”

Niall said: “It was worth it for the experience of a lifetime.”

He explained that his parents a bit concerned “but they didn't let it show too much”.

Michael added: “My mother was a bit panicky alright. 'Keep an eye out for everyone, don't get too drunk, keep your wits about you,' the usual. But sure we'll be alright.”

Get in touch

Send us your stories, pictures and videos from Euro 2016.

Email us at fanzone@independent.ie

Send us a Whatsapp message on 087 184 7169.

Or contact us via Facebook

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport