Sunday 19 November 2017

`I would be very surprised if they didn't target the European Championships' - Threat of terrorist attack keeping Eamon Dunphy away from Euro 2016

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Euro 2016 is just around the corner and although it is a massively exciting time for Irish fans as the Boys in Green prepare for a major tournament, one pundit is approaching this summer with a degree of trepidation.

The cloud of last year's terrorist attacks in Paris, which claimed the lives of 139 people, will hang over the tournament, with the organisers and French authorities promising heightened security to ensure there isn't a repeat of what happened last November, when the Stade de France - the venue for Ireland's first group game - was targeted by suicide bombers.

Eamon Dunphy was speaking to Game On on 2FM tonight and was asked about whether he would feel comfortable travelling to France along with the thousands of Irish fans set to make the trip.

Yesterday's 'bomb' scare at Old Trafford, despite ultimately not being a legitimate threat, reminded people of the potential danger they face this summer and Dunphy says he wouldn't go to France due to security fears.

"It would make me think three times," Dunphy answered when asked by Hugh Cahill if last year's attacks would make him think twice about travelling.

"I was in France at the weekend and people still haven't gotten over it. I wouldn't go to the European Championships and I would be extremely troubled if anyone close to me went.

"I would be very surprised if they [terrorists] didn't target the European Championships."

Ireland play their first game of Euro 2016 against Sweden in the Parisian venue on June 13th before facing Belgium in Bordeaux five days later. Martin O'Neill's men then have their final group game in Lille on June 22nd.

France were playing a friendly match against Germany in the 81,000 seater stadium in the Paris suburb of St Denis last November when the ground was rocked by three explosions outside, which killed three suicide bombers and one civilian.

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