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Tuesday 13 November 2018

Dream draw a nightmare for Irishman and Estonian partner

It was the draw we all dreamed of to keep our hopes of qualification for Euro 2012 alive.

Well, almost all of us. For Dubliner and BBC business correspondent Joe Lynam and his Estonian partner Riina it meant one of their countries would suffer heartbreak.

Estonia will start tomorrow night's clash as underdogs and Joe is confident the boys in green can do a number on the homeland of his nearest and dearest. But then again confidence has always come easy to the man who famously broke the story that the Irish government was seeking a bailout long before Brian Cowen and co told the people.

After graduating with a Bcomm (international) from UCD in 1992 he had a spell in Holland selling MDF products for an Irish company before becoming part-owner of a pub chain in Germany. In 1998, he returned to Ireland, initially working for a development agency in Arklow.

With the bubble growing at lightning speed, Joe decided he wanted in. After a night spent cramming on the mechanics of online software technology he wrote his first article for the 'B2B' magazine, selling himself as a technology journalist.

After a few short months he landed the role of European reporter for US tech TV, acquiring permanency by claiming Bloomberg was chasing him -- though he admits this wasn't entirely the case.

In January 2001, he entered the BBC as a low-ranking junior producer but by 2006 he'd risen through the ranks to become their European business reporter. And in 2008, he climbed further, to his current position of BBC business correspondent.

In his Chelsea abode, he tells me, "There was an element of luck in how I got to where I am and maybe a slight element of embellishment as well!"

It was while working in Brussels that he first met Riina at a table quiz in December 2006. The couple are expecting their first baby in February, a little boy whose name they promise will be part Irish, part Estonian.

So how does Riina expect things to unfold in Tallinn tomorrow night?

"There is a saying that it takes time to start a party in Estonia but once started it takes time to stop it! I think we will win 1-0 but I'm very cautious. At home much is being made about the injured Irish players and perhaps expectations are too high," she said.

As for Joe, the result is a foregone conclusion. He predicts Trapattoni's men will win 2-1 and plans to celebrate with Irish and Estonian friends who'll descend on his London home for the vital clash.

Irish Independent

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