Monday 19 August 2019

Irish 'Angela Merkel Thinks We're at Work' soccer flag fan captures German girl's heart

Chancellor sends letter to happy couple

Tips: The famous flag at the wedding of Orlagh Eichholz and Richie Tuohy. Photos: Ronan Palliser
Tips: The famous flag at the wedding of Orlagh Eichholz and Richie Tuohy. Photos: Ronan Palliser

Dean Gray

The Irish soccer fan who captured the German nation's hearts with a flag has now captured the heart of a German girl.

Richie Tuohy (31), from Dromkeen, Co Limerick, married stunning bride Orlagh Eichholz in Cappawhite, Co Tipperary, last Friday.

The happy couple celebrated with family and friends afterwards at The Inn in Dromoland.

They even received a congratulatory letter and signed photograph from the world's most powerful woman - German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The signed picture of Angela Merkel which came with a letter full of advice about marriage.
Photo: Ronan Palliser
The signed picture of Angela Merkel which came with a letter full of advice about marriage. Photo: Ronan Palliser

At the European Football Championships in 2012, Richie and his friends made headlines around the world due to their Irish flag with the slogan "Angela Merkel Thinks We're at Work". The championships were held in the years after the financial crash and subsequent bailout.

Orlagh's father got in touch with Ms Merkel's office six months ago about the impending nuptials - the couple knew nothing about this, of course.

But they can begin to put into practice Ms Merkel's words of advice, which include: "Marriage, like life itself, is not a comfortable and peaceful state, but a great adventure with many surprises and trials to pass."

While the Irish team flopped, Richie and friends Eoin O'Brien, Conor O'Dwyer, Eoin Cantwell and Richie Leahy were on the pages of newspapers in Ireland and abroad.

And in a lovely twist of fate, Richie met and fell in love with a German girl in 2012 but not at the Euros.

"We actually met in Tipperary town on St Stephen's night. Orlagh's father, Jorg, is from Germany; her mum, Libby, is from Doon and she cheers for Tipp. She was born in Germany but moved to Doon when she was five," said Richie, whose parents are Tony and Esther.

While the Merkel crew sold the flag for charity a couple of years ago, Richie got a loan of it for the wedding. After posing for photographs with the Merkel flag, Jorg, had a surprise for the couple.

"Orlagh's dad got in touch with Angela Merkel's office six months ago," said Richie.

"He actually invited her to the wedding.

"Obviously, he knew she wouldn't come. He thought nothing would come back but he got a reply about three months ago. It's a full letter and a signed photograph."

Irish Independent

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