Irish fans are charming their way through Euro 2016 with song and good deeds
With the European Championship being contested in France, thousands of Irish fans have traveled to the country to cheer on their side. Whereas the thought of hordes of soccer fans descending on foreign towns can conjure up shudders (think: hooliganism), green-clad Ireland supporters seem to have led something of a charm offensive. All that good karma may have had a little to do with Ireland’s 1-0 win over Italy on Wednesday, a huge victory that allowed it to move into the knockout stages of Euro 2016. The day before that game, Irish fans had done their part to create positive vibes by fixing a dent in a car.
Okay, the fans also caused the dent, or at least one Irishman did by standing on top of the car to get a better look at the jam-packed scene in Lille. But how many other people, in any situation, would do anything about that? Joyously singing “Fix the car for the boys in green!”, a group of Irish supporters not only pounded the car’s roof until the dent popped back into place, some of them stuffed money into the windows of the vehicle, all the better for the owner to pay for any further repairs.
The previous Ireland match was played in Bordeaux. It didn’t go well for the team — a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Belgium — but the Irish fans again made friends wherever they went, notably on a train, where they sang lullabies to a baby while otherwise trying to keep the noise down.
Elsewhere in Bordeaux, a large group of Irish fans was huddling in a tunnel to stay out of a downpour when French police showed up to move them along. Rather than a tense standoff ensuing, the group broke into more good-natured singing while very much behaving itself (certainly by soccer-fan standards). Going far beyond mere good behavior were some other Irish fans, who actually engaged in some impromptu trash collection — all for the “boys in green,” of course. Even the mayor of Bordeaux praised his town’s visitors.