An Irish pub owner in Lille is preparing for a fan invasion by getting dozens of extra kegs of Guinness.
Alan Sheehan, 44, is originally from Maynooth in Co Kildare and is braced for the arrival of thousands of Irish fans ahead of the Republic’s must-win Euro 2016 tie with Italy on Wednesday night.
The Tir na nOg Irish pub and restaurant, which opened in 1996, has already attracted a handful of boys in green – but it is set to get much busier and Mr Sheehan is prepared.
With music from Riverdance ringing out, the owner told the Press Association: “We’d average about 40 kegs a week on normal trade. We will have, tomorrow, between 170 and 180 kegs, mainly Heineken and Guinness. A bit of Magners there as well.”
Mr Sheehan added: “We want it to be good-natured after the English and all. Hopefully everyone will be in fun mood and not acting the maggot.”
Lille was the setting for violence last week as football fans from England and Russia clashed, but the Irish fans have been praised for their good behaviour throughout the tournament.
Mr Sheehan said he is looking forward to welcoming his fellow countrymen, and added it will not be the first time he has had the Irish in his pub in big numbers.
He has had crew members from Riverdance and musicians from bands such as The Cranberries when they have been playing in Lille.