There was a very strong Sligo representation among the 30,000 Irish supporters at Stade De France on Friday last.
The atmosphere in the stadium just prior to kick-off was reminiscent of Croke Park on February 24th, when Ireland defeated England. Following Ireland’s Call [not the most inspirational call to arms], and the full blooded singing by the French of the La Marseillaise, there was an impromptu rendition of AmhrÃ¡n na bhFiann, which raised the follicles on the visiting supporters’ necks, as the teams prepared for the action.
There has been a lot of negative criticism of Ireland in this World Cup campaign, and the writer of these notes has no intention of joining these ranks. The team certainly has not played to its potential, but hopefully, with their backs to the wall, they will confound these critics on Saturday next. Despite the disappointment of the result in Paris, post match celebrations were not muted, as the Irish [and Sligo] supporters proceeded to enjoy the cuisine and beverages of this magnificent city.