Sunday 25 September 2016

'I'll get it back to you Ma' – Irish fans need bailout after 'losing the run of themselves' in France

Cathal McMahon

Published 21/06/2016 | 06:29

Ryan Redmond and Dara Doyle. Inset Adam Valentini
Ryan Redmond and Dara Doyle. Inset Adam Valentini

The Green army has rolled into Lille with broken arms and empty pockets.

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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.

Ryan Redmond and Dara Doyle
Ryan Redmond and Dara Doyle

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.”

While Ryan and Dara have bruised wallets, Adam Valentini's injuries are altogether more serious.

Adam Valentini in Lille
Adam Valentini in Lille

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.

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.

Marina and Conor Hannon in Lille
Marina and Conor Hannon in Lille

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

Graham Doyle, Alan O'Neill and Brian Flannery from Santry get ready for Lyon
Graham Doyle, Alan O'Neill and Brian Flannery from Santry get ready for Lyon
No tickets, no worries. Elizabeth Cuddy travelled to Lille for her 60th birthday. She is pictured here holding an inflated banana in Lille with fans
Did he know something we didn't?Jack Nolan with sister Abbie and father Karl before the game
Alan Keane hasn't missed a game since Italia 90. Picture Andrea Collins
Picture: Francis Edgeworth, Tallaght
Mia Carroll Glasnevin. Picture Selina Carroll
Jamie Carroll Glasnevin. Picture Selina Carroll
Patrick Lavelle from Mayo with Niall Keogh from Kildare. Picture: Patrick Lavelle
Patrick Lavelle from Mayo Niall Keogh from Kildare and Irish legend Ronnie Whelan. Picture: Patrick Lavelle
Picture: Francis Edgeworth Tallaght
'Fruitysuits with TD Mick Wallace. Picture: Fruitysuits
Dylan James is the described by his mother Niamh Heery as the no.1 COYBIG baby
John Cawley, Mark Mahon, John McCann and Peter Cleary. Picture Peter Cleary
Picture Gareth Duffy
Keith Malseed Brian Duffy Shane duffys father Eric white Siobhan Duffy mother and Hannah Carr in Bordeaux. Picture: Keith Malseed
Keith Malseed, Donegal, and Paul Walsh, Cork, at The Connemara Bar in Bordeaux. Picture: Keith Malseed
Donegal fans in Bordeaux. Picture Keith Malseed
John McCann Peter Cleary John Cawley Mark Mahon. Picture Peter Cleary
Muriel Krijeder with Amy (12 months) and Roisín McCann with baby Aoife (5 months) - Picture Steven Krijeder
Luke Fay (9) and Sean McAllister (9) skipped school to go to Paris. However they bumped into their principal Mr Boyle from St Colmcille's Junior School at the stadium - Picture Shane Fay
Shae McDonnell. Living in DeWitt Michigan, USA
Fans with 'Walters is Coming flag' - Picture Mick Burke
Fans have arrived in La Rochelle - Picture Steven Krijeder
Buddy the pug before the Sweden game - Picture Dave Butler
Katie Hickey at the Stade de France in Paris
Rhona O'Brien Charlie Shakespeare and Hugh O'Connor at the Eiffel tower
Jake, Benjamin and Sebastian Flood watch their father Gordon Flood on television live from the Stade de France from the comfort of their home in Trim, Co Meath
Staff of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital together with patient baby Christy Joyce with his siblings Louise & Patsy Joyce
This police officer does not look happy with Nicole Lynch posing for a picture at the Euro 2016 Fanzone in Paris
Dubliners Alan McAuley and Des Shiels and others with hilarious 'Irish Walters' jackets pose with a French police officer in Paris. Picture: Gerard Daly
From left to right; Andrew Greene, Ronan Greene, Philip Nolan and David O'Reilly all set for the Sweden match. Picture sent by Olivia Leonard
Ireland Cerebral Palsy Development squad win Catalonia football tournament
Patsy Joyce, Director of Nursing at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Rachel Kenna holding patient baby Christy Joyce, Louise Joyce and Jack Power aged 8. Evan Dolan aged 12 years back row
Danny (6) on Dublin Bus before the game
Eddie Power meets Gary Lineker 28 years on from that famous day in Stuttgart
Donegal Fans - Kevin Mulhern Owen Doohan and Michael Barry at the Fanzone in Paris

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