Wednesday 20 June 2018

A true vision of Ireland was born in Stuttgart

Cartoonist: Jim Cogan
Cartoonist: Jim Cogan
Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

If you were writing a history of Modern Ireland, you could start in the first weeks of June in 1988, when Ireland beat England 1-0 in Stuttgart - and you could end it 30 years later in the first weeks of June in 2018, with Ireland reflecting on another victory of enormous significance. One that also had people on the streets celebrating, high on the improbability of it all.

The common thread is not just this euphoria at a result, but the confirmation of something that we hoped we had in us - that our better angels would prevail, and that the world would know it.

And, of course, England is involved too, always there or thereabouts. Indeed the euphoria of Euro 1988 was originally not about the result of that game, but about the fact that Ireland had already beaten England morally, our supporters making it their business to behave impeccably on every occasion, in contrast to the English hooligans who were the scourge of Europe at that time.

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