Thursday 23 November 2017

Irish fan missing at Euros for two days was arrested by police for being drunk

Supporter missed out on Ireland's historic win over Italy as he was in police cell

Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

An Irish fan missing at Euro 2016 for almost two days had been arrested by French police for being drunk.

The man, who is originally from Belfast, vanished in Lille on Tuesday and was discovered this morning.

He had been arrested by French police who became concerned for his welfare.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

The fan missed Ireland's historic win over Italy as he was in police custody at the time.

Robbie Brady heads the Republic of Ireland into the last 16
Robbie Brady heads the Republic of Ireland into the last 16

However sources say that the man was not officially charged and was released with just a caution.

His family in Ireland had become concerned for his welfare after he became separated from his friends on Monday.

Their worries were heightened when he failed to attend the game at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Wednesday night – despite having a ticket.

He has now been reunited with his family and friends.

No Irish fans have been arrested and charged with a serious offence in France since the tournament began.

However a garda liaison team at the European Championships have recently raised concerns about the number of Irish fans going missing due to excessive drinking.

At least seven fans have vanished since the tournament began.

All of the missing fans were reunited with their friends or families but gardaí are worried about the possibility of a serious incident involving Ireland fans as the focus now shifts to Lyon for Ireland's last 16 match with hosts France.

Superintendent Gerry Delmar, who is heading up a garda team in France, is warning Irish fans to stay safe. "We would ask people celebrating to do so in a controlled way and not to overdo those celebrations.”

He added: "We have had a number of fans reported missing and thankfully we have been able to locate these people with the assistance of the French police. People are getting isolated from their friends and getting lost."

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