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Monday 19 February 2018

Trap's nifty footwork as he dodges Dail tackles

Giovanni Trapattoni meets members of the Oireachtas Republic of Ireland Supporters’ Club, including Finian
Giovanni Trapattoni meets members of the Oireachtas Republic of Ireland Supporters’ Club, including Finian McGrath
Trapattoni with Special Olympics athlete Cillian Moran and his mother, Senator Mary Moran
Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and Jonathan Walters with Katie McLaughlin (3) during the footballers’ visit to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin, Dublin
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

ALTHOUGH more noted as a tactician on the sideline, Ireland soccer manager Giovanni Trapattoni showed he can also do some fancy footwork of his own as he skipped through tackles from all sides at Leinster House.

The Italian was there yesterday to meet the newly formed Oireachtas Ireland Football Supporters Club which, to date, counts 63 TDs and senators and two former members of the House among its ranks.

The politicians all wanted a piece of Trap and he was met with offers of handshakes all round before sitting down for a ten-minute chat.

The manager was in town ahead of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands tomorrow.

"We just wanted to meet with the manager with (FAI chief executive) John Delaney and we invited them into Leinster House to introduce ourselves as a newly formed supporters' club," explained club secretary Senator John Gilroy.

"Our aims are, of course, to support the national team, but more importantly to foster the development of football at grassroots level.

"We had a chat about where the game is and what we can do as Oireachtas members to encourage the game."

The Ireland manager was then brought on a tour of Leinster House and was presented with a framed photo of the home of the Oireachtas as a memento.

Club chairman Senator Jimmy Harte said he hoped this was the start of a positive relationship between the Oireachtas and the Football Association of Ireland.

"There is a special bond between the Irish people and their national team.

"This was established during the glory days of the Charlton era, and was most recently expressed through the magnificent support that followed the team during last year's European Championships in Poland," he added.


"Our members are anxious to have an ongoing dialogue with football authorities about how we as legislators can help harness that support to promote football and all the benefits it brings to young people, in particular in terms of activity, fitness and team spirit."

The visit took place during a brief opening in Trap's schedule as the team prepares for a busy few days.

The squad enjoyed the sunshine as they were put through their paces at a training session at Gannon Park in Malahide, north Co Dublin, yesterday. They later signed autographs and posed for photographs for fans.

Meanwhile, captain Robbie Keane along with team-mates Richard Dunne and Jonathan Walters then paid a visit of their own – to Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

There, they met patients including Katie McLaughlin (3), from Redcastle, Co Donegal, and Chloe Boyle (14), from Drogheda, Co Louth.

Irish Independent

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