Irish fans prepare for crunch match with Euro 2016 hosts France
Two teachers have made a last-minute decision to walk away from the airport and stay at Euro 2016 in the hope of seeing the Republic of Ireland triumph.
Emmet Vaughan, 37, and Stephen Murray, 31, from West Cork, want the boys in green to make more history following their dramatic 1-0 win over Italy.
The pair are now in Lyon where Ireland face hosts France on Sunday – a showdown hailed as a revenge match after Frenchman Thierry Henry’s notorious handball in 2009 broke Irish hearts.
They were in the airport in Paris, about to fly home from their Euros adventure, when they realised they could quite easily move on to the location of Ireland’s next game instead.
Mr Vaughan, an Irish and history teacher, said: “We found out that the TGV goes straight to Lyon so we decided to stay.
“It’s hard to leave. We couldn’t miss history.”
Mr Murray, an English and history teacher, said his girlfriend was encouraging him to extend the trip, adding: “After the Italy game was mad so we just thought let’s go for it.
“It’s a once in a lifetime. So we decided we’d take a chance on it.”
He said the Republic could beat France and that is something they could not afford to miss.
“It’s a bit of history – so as history teachers we thought we’d stay on,” he joked.
Many Irish fans had only arranged to stay in France until after the Italy game – Ireland’s third and final group stage match, which took place on Wednesday night in Lille.
On Friday, there was a small number of Irish supporters in Lyon, with more expected to arrive on Saturday – but they might not all have tickets.
The majority of tickets for Sunday’s match were initially sold to French supporters during the general sales phase at the beginning of the year.