Thursday 23 November 2017

'This is the wake, let's see how many come to Monday's funeral'

Edel O'Connell

DEVASTATED fans continued to shout and chant for the Boys in Green long after Ireland's Euro 2012 dream was cruelly dashed last night.

Hordes of green-jersey-clad fans, their faces painted green, white and gold, refused to let Ireland's 4-0 loss to Spain dampen their enthusiasm.

Outdoor events, bars, cinemas and homes bedecked with bunting were packed to capacity, with hopeful fans crossing their fingers and toes that the Boys in Green would grab that all-important point to keep their Euro 2012 dreams alive.

But when Fernando Torres blasted an early goal past Shay Given a stunned silence fell on the 1,000-strong crowd at the Submarine Bar in Crumlin, Dublin.

The goal marked the start of Spain's relentless assault on the Irish. But the fans' defiant spirit continued unabated.

As Spain continued to sink the ball in the back of the Irish net the chants of 'Ole, Ole, Ole' became louder and louder.

Earlier the fans had demonstrated an unwavering optimism.

"We just have to pray for a miracle," said Sarah Dunphy from Terenure. "Ireland always does well when people think we are down and out."

But half-way through the first half, one downtrodden pair were not holding out much hope.

"I was hoping for a draw but the way it is going we are looking more like target practice for the Spanish," said Leanne Moran from Kimmage, Co Dublin.

"This is like watching a group of hill walkers trying to climb Mount Everest," shouted Matt Gahan over the din.

The electric atmosphere at the Submarine Bar soured when Silva scored a second.

But even at three-nil down the fans continued to chant and scream at the big screen as Ireland's Euro 2012 dreams began to slip away.

"It's over now, no doubt about it," said Shane McNamee as he ordered another pint. "It was good while it lasted."

But when Fabergas stole another piece of Ireland's dream a look of utter dejection spread across the crowd.

"This is the wake, lets see how many come for the funeral on Monday," said one man as he left the bar.

By the time the final whistle sounded, Sean Higgins and his girlfriend Sarah had already put on their raincoats.

"Ah it's devastating. It was an absolute slaughter. It was embarrassing really," they said.

"Worse tournament on record," said Donal O'Shea originally from Cork, adding: "The dream is certainly over."

Having qualified for a major tournament for the first time in 10 years, many of the fans were making the most of the opportunity to party last night -- regardless of the poor result.

"We will carry on partying for the night regardless, what else can you do after a defeat like that?" said one fan said as he made his way to the bar.

Irish Independent

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