'The whole episode has us looking homeward again' - Ronan O'Gara considering future in France following Paris attacks
Shaken by the attacks in Paris, Racing Metro coach Ronan O’Gara will wait and see how events unfold in the coming weeks before deciding if he and his family will remain in France.
The former Ireland out-half is in his third season with the Parisian club and is now their defence coach, and lives in a nearby suburb with his wife, Jess, and their five young children.
Speaking on Game On on 2FM last night, O'Gara explained the situation in Paris and how it has affected the city and the players and staff at Racing.
""It's very real, it's very surreal at the same time," he said on Game on.
"It's extremely bizarre... I've never experienced anything like it.
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And today, writing in his column for the Irish Examiner, the 38-year-old explained that he was at an event, without his family, when terrorists attacked numerous locations across the French capital.
“Friday night was an awful stomach-heaving experience,” he wrote. “I was out at a charity dinner and away from the family. It was horrendous. My mum and Dad were there with Jess but the sense of helplessness was overpowering.”
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The Munster legend admitted his fears, and those of his wife, while hoping to maintain some semblance of normality in the wake of the horror. It’s not been easy, even with a packed rugby schedule.
Furthermore, the Cork native has decided to avoid central Paris for the moment but, more significantly, is now considering whether or not the O'Garas will stay in France.
“When you get to the Racing training base at Robinson, there’s comfort in that bubble. But on the quiet early morning streets of Paris, I’m not going to lie. You slow down coming into every junction, or heading into anything you don’t have full sight of," added O'Gara in his Irish Examiner column.
“Jessica is a bit scared too. Five children. Away from home. Probably yearning for Cork. The whole episode has us looking homewards again.
“Am I rattled? Damn right I am. This is too random. It keeps going around in my head now, my future here in Paris. Let’s see how the next few weeks pans out. You’d have to consider everything after what has happened.”
O'Gara also suggested that he feels more sporting events will be targeted.
"I think they are going after sporting venues, nice theatres, cafes and when it gets to that stage it's not good.
"It's a great country and there are some great people here and the locals are confident of winning but you'll just have to wait and see what it's like in a month's time.
"The annoying thing is that the locals feel like it's only the start of things. It's kind of head down time.
"Getting on the pitch is good but everything else is just consumed with watching the TV and watching what's going on in the clubhouse.
"It's occupying everyone's mind.
"There was some small bit of understanding for the Charlie Hebdo situation, as perverse as it was , but this time there is no reasoning so people are lost for words."
O'Gara's Racing side will be in Wales this Saturday where they will meet the Scarlets.