Islanders leave en masse to attend match
One-third of the population of a Co Donegal island will be at the Aviva Stadium tonight cheering on their pipe band.
The Arranmore Pipe Band will be providing pre-match and half-time entertainment as Ireland take on Austria in a World Cup qualifier.
The pipers are getting to fulfil a dream after a promise made to them during a visit to their soccer club last summer by FAI chief John Delaney.
So 34 members of the band and 120 supporters from the island – population 500 – travelled the 5km by ferry to the mainland yesterday before boarding buses to the capital.
Piping instructor Alec Brown (54), from Fife in Scotland, moved to the island in 2009 with his wife Marie Kelly and got the band going again.
"It's such a huge honour for such a small community and we intend to rise to the occasion," he said.