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Special delivery for our World Cup heroes ... four ex-posties make big trip

FORMER An Post employees have made the pilgrimage down under to cheer on the Irish team.

The foursome, who have known each other for almost 40 years, decided to take the trip of a lifetime after months of planning.

Organiser Eoin Morgan said that the scheme for the journey was hatched in Briody's pub, in Marlborough Street, Dublin.

"As the main organiser I put the plan together and I also put together a budget for almost every aspect of the trip," he said.

"So far the experience has been just breathtaking," he said.

"The welcome has just been incredible -- they stop you on the streets to talk to you because you're Irish."


"We have the biggest contingent of supporters. I think every Irish fan is travelling in a camper van.

"We have our flags on our car and we travel in the colours."

The group, made up of Eoin, Joe Crowley, Peter Oman and Tony Harmon, have managed to keep the trip budget under €7,000 for flights, accommodation, transport and petrol. And they have been astounded by how reasonable everything has been so far.

"We really haven't been ripped off at all -- it's technically their off season," Eoin said.

"We're doing quite a bit of travelling and are staying in 33 different hotels. The average room rate has worked out as NZ$50 (€38)."

And they have no doubt about the Irish team's ability in the match today.

"They have the skill to do it," Eoin said. "They've been holding back but they were injured in training so they need to give it their all.

"It's a big ask but it's time to stop the messing."

Other Irish fans said that they are being treated like royalty in New Zealand as Kiwis offer to open their homes.

Barry McHugh (28), from Longford, said the New Zealanders have pulled out all the stops for the fans from home. "I swear every one of them has been paid to be nice," he said.

"When we're driving along with our flags and bunting and I sometimes wear a leprechaun outfit when driving -- all the cars passing us by are blowing their horns.

"The people have just been so friendly."

Barry, who is travelling with his wife Elaine (31) and her brother Brian Cully (27), from Cavan, said they planned the journey with plenty of time and are now reaping the rewards.

"We were thinking about it for months. We applied for tickets, which was just like in a lottery.

"We booked it a year in advance when the prices weren't too bad. They sky-rocketed after that," he said

"We rented a camper van -- it's a six-berth and there are three of us. We're like champagne backpackers."