'I'll get it back to you Ma' – Irish fans need bailout after 'losing the run of themselves' in France
Published 21/06/2016 | 06:29
The Green army has rolled into Lille with broken arms and empty pockets.
Although their bodies have been battered by up to ten days of travelling and partying the Irish fans are no less willing to keep the bandwagon rolling until Wednesday and further.
Outside the Tír na nÓg bar on Pavis Saint-Michel a group of around 200 fans were comparing war-wounds from the campaign so far.
And friends Ryan Redmond (22) and Dara Doyle (22) from Blanchardstown in Dublin were counting the cost.
With a budget of €2,000 each the pair thought they could comfortably get through the two weeks.
However they got a shock on Sunday in Bordeaux when they went to order a pizza and realised their accounts were almost empty. They have been forced to call home for additional funds.
Dara said: “We tried to order a Domino's. But it didn't go through.
“We came over with a load of money but I only had around €20 left. We have another week left in our trip so unfortunately we had to text home to get money sent over.
“But look, we got money sent over now and we're ready for Lille.”
Dara added: “We are going to beat Italy, we are going to get more money sent over and we're going to keep on going til the Euros final and we're going to win it.”
Ryan said: “We brought two grand and it went very quickly.”
He continued: "My mother said to me: 'That was my wages last week.' I said 'I'm going to work, I'm going to get it back to you'. I'll get it back to you ma."
Dara explained: “This is a very, very expensive country France. And, we lost the run of ourselves.”
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While Ryan and Dara have bruised wallets, Adam Valentini's injuries are altogether more serious.
The 23-year-old from Tallaght in Dublin broke his arm when he fell “up the stairs” in Paris on Sunday night.
He said: “We stopped over in Paris last night on the way to Bordeaux. Things got a bit messy and I fell on the Luas [train]. I fell up the step, not down the step.
“We are here for a good time, not a long time.”
Adam, whose grandfather is Italian but he is shouting for Ireland, said he knew his arm was broken. “Straight away, I knew. That's when Adam knew he'd f**ked up.”
His pals brought him to hospital and he explained that he was treated in just three and a half hours. The fans had a sing-song inside the hospital ward to keep themselves entertained.
Sporting a massive cast on his right arm Adam said he is now searching a marker to get people to sign it.
“I'll have to keep a bit of space for the match for the boys [Irish squad] to sign it but mostly it will be these messers,” he added before pointing to his friends.
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And if any of the Green Army need a caring mother's hand then they need look no further than Marina Hannon (53) from Athlone.
The veteran Irish supporter was pregnant when she travelled to Italia '90 with her husband Conor.
Now the couple are back at Euro 2016 with their 25-year-old son. Standing outside the Tír na nÓg bar the couple recalled a lifetime of incredible trips following the Boys in Green, including a trip to Tehran ahead of the 2002 World Cup.
Marina and Conor have followed the Irish team for three decades and she admits that she gets a small bit concerned when she sees some of the travelling Irish fans looking a bit downtrodden.
“I feel like I want to bring them all home to my apartment tonight and mind them and mother them."
Conor added: “Every time she sees a fella, she says 'look at him, he's only shorts on him, and he has no jacket, he's only frozen'.”
Paul McVeigh (56) was in Lille with his wife Eleanor.
Paul missed his grandson's christening on Sunday due to Euro 2016.
“We saw loads of photographs and the child was gorgeous and congratulations. It was father's day as well. But I gave all that up for Ireland.”
Check out some of the pictures sent to Independent.ie Fanzone
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