Bump on you boys in green.. Irish fans in campervan chaos
Ireland's Euro 2012 performance was the joint worst in the history of the tournament: it seems our drivers were not much better.
Careless drivers caused so much damage that Italian car maker Fiat ran out of spare rear-view mirrors to replace those broken by Irish fans who rented campervans.
In the usual Irish tradition, hundreds of fans loaded into campervans to go on a once-in-a-generation journey, but not many escaped without incident.
Many fans rented from stations in Europe rather than driving all the way from Ireland. Unfortunately for some rental managers, they over-estimated the driving prowess of Irish fans
Paul Hallissey travelled from Frankfurt to Poland via campervan -- one that he returned without damage -- and he recounts some unbelievable tales of Irish driving.
"I personally saw one lad reverse into an electricity pole on arrival at one of the camp sites. I met another group who lost their toilet window on the autobahn; their mates in the camper behind drove over it."
One campervan manager in Hamburg spoke of renting more than 40 campervans to groups of Irish fans, of which only two came back undamaged.
While most of the damage was slight -- broken door handles and clipped wing mirrors -- one group of fans had to fork out more than €1,000.
The McRent company, which leases camper vans all over Europe, reported that more than half of its campervans were damaged.
Some Irish fans made such an impact that when they arrived in the German city of Bremen, they were greeted by a local TV station running a story on the adventures of Irish fans in campervans in Poland.
In its report, the station noted that the fans were in an upbeat mood, even though the Irish team had been knocked out and they would not be receiving their full deposits because of the damage caused.