Party time in Dublin as Ireland celebrates famous victory
Dublin is no stranger to parties, but the Irish capital exploded in celebration at around 9.40pm on Wednesday night with an intensity not seen in years.
With five minutes of the do-or-die Euro 2016 tie left, anticipation was at fever pitch when Robbie Brady’s header hit the back of the Italian net, sparking euphoria for an entire country.
Hundreds of fans crammed into the cavernous DTwo venue in Dublin’s Harcourt Street for the entire heart-stopping 93 minutes.
When the goal finally came jerseys were ripped off their chests, drinks hurled in the air and chants offered to the football gods.
“If we die now we will be happy,” declared Patrick Doherty.
It took the 22-year-old from Co Donegal some moments after the final whistle to be able to talk.
“My heart was on the floor, in the air, in the middle – it was all over the place.
“They actually put in a performance, played a bit of football. They got the result they deserved.
“They give us a performance to be proud of.”
And what of Ireland’s chances now?
“The pressure is on France – no pressure on us. But if we win, there is going to be another hell of a party in Dublin,” he beamed.
Dermot Henderson, 25, from Drimnagh in Dublin, said the last time he remembers being so elated was watching a last-minute Robbie Keane goal in the 2002 World Cup.
He was still in school at the time.
“This is really one of the best nights of my life ever,” he croaked.
“We can go anywhere now. With the team spirit we have we can beat anyone. We have nothing to fear.
“We beat Germany, we beat Italy, others, we can go as far as we want as long as we put team spirit into it.”
Further back under a giant screen beaming the unforgettable night into the venue, Tadgh Meaney, 21, from Kildare, was almost lost for words.
Choking back the emotion, he managed a few.
“I can’t believe it. They worked really hard for that, I’m so delighted they are going through,” he said.
Is there any chance of doing the same against France?
“We’ll give them a go!” he said.