Tuesday 20 February 2018

This gracious gesture from New Zealand fans 'brought a tear' to Irish publican in Australia

Paul North with the flag
Paul North with the flag

Alan O'Keeffe

Ireland’s historic victory over the All-Blacks continues to be toasted around the world with New Zealanders in Australia heaping praise on the men in green.

Irishman Paul North, who runs the popular J.B.O’Reilly popular Irish pub in Perth, was moved to tears by a tribute from stalwart Kiwi fans.

New Zealand fans laid their All-Blacks flag at his front door with a sign which declared “Gotta Say - Bloody Brilliant.”

“Their sportsmanship brought tears to my eyes. It was a very touching sporting surrender,” said Paul (58), a father-of-three from Wexford town.

“The match in Chicago could not be shown live because it was played at 4 a.m. local time but the game is being played on a continuous loop in my pub ever since,” he said.

“Our Kiwi customers have been great in their tributes to Ireland and the Australians are over the moon. It’s overwhelming. Ireland is their second favourite team,” he said.

“We’re going to keep the match on loop until Friday. And we’ve got tee-shirts printed with the slogan ‘Green Is The New Black.’

“The players gave us a great win and they did it for the great Axel Foley,” he said.

Dubliner Sinead Fitzpatrick (31), a manager at the pub, said “The replays of the match in the pub have generated a fantastic atmosphere.

“But it’s making all the Irish homesick.

“We’ve got a lot of Irish living here, a mixture of young and old.  There’s not as many Irish backpackers anymore.

 The Kiwis who drink in the pub have said Ireland fully deserved to win,” said Sinead, who comes from Howth.

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