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Kitmen and confidants - the men who saw it all and loved every minute

Vincent Hogan


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Mick Byrne with Chris Hughton after Ireland’s 1-0 victory against England. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Mick Byrne with Chris Hughton after Ireland’s 1-0 victory against England. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Mick Byrne with Chris Hughton after Ireland’s 1-0 victory against England. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Mick Byrne was in bed, fast asleep when the first bullet of the revolution was fired.

Woken by the roars of his son, Thomas, he remembers "pretty much falling down the stairs in a panic" at his home in Farnham Drive, Finglas.

It was the evening of November 11, 1987 and a Scottish footballer had just scored against Bulgaria in Sofia. Gary Mackay's 86th-minute winner was about to send the Republic of Ireland to their first ever major finals tournament, Euro '88.