Thursday 22 March 2018

Euro 2012: Battle-weary Irish fans move the circus to Gdansk

Fiach Kelly

THE exodus from Poznan began today as fans left the city after Ireland's disappointing defeat to Croatia last night.

All roads now lead to Gdansk for the second group game against Spain on Thursday night and the camper vans were already hitting the motorways at lunchtime, with Padraig Lynch from Monaghan leading the charge with his friends in a converted van.

Most fans were still trying to come to terms with the 3-1 defeat to Croatia. Rory Butler and his group of pals from Galway, Kerry and Roscommon were picking themselves up as they made their way back to their accommodation in the early hours this morning.

"Sure we know what we have to do now, beat Spain and Italy," Rory said with a wry smile.

Meanwhile, riot police briefly guarded Irish fans in the city's old town square last night amid fears they could be set upon by hooligans association with local club Lech Poznan.

A number of darkly dressed locals entered the square, smashing glasses and lighting flares.

Riot police, constantly stationed around the square, were quickly on hand to defuse the situation.

There were no Irish fans injured or arrested.

· - Don't miss tomorrow's print edition of the Irish Independent for Fiach Kelly's exclusive diary with the Irish fans in Poland

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