herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Party Poznan ... fans vow to go out with a bang

SEVENTEEN passports, five wallets, one driver's licence and one person.

The party has moved back to Poznan, but a few Irish supporters have discovered that their suitcases are a little lighter after a week on Poland's rocky roads.

Despite the disastrous results in our two games, there is still a real sense of anticipation ahead of the final throw of the dice against Italy.

Convoys of camper vans pulled out of Gdansk yesterday afternoon as the green army relocated back to Poznan.

The spectacle of Irish supporters singing in the stands as the side went down 4-0 to Spain has left many wondering if it can be topped when we leave Euro 2012 on Monday night.

And the exemplary fashion with which the fans have secured their position as the best in the world is reflected in new figures obtained by the Herald today.

Just a tiny portion of the 30,000 who are doing their country proud in Poland have found themselves needing the help of our diplomatic staff.

So far, only 17 passports have been lost or stolen: 0.05pc of the travelling green army.

Officials say that some have since resurfaced, while five Emergency Travel Certificates have been issued and another eight are pending.

Polish police were also alerted to a missing Irish person who has since been found and returned home.

Four Irish people have been admitted to hospitals in Poznan or Gdansk over the past week, but officials said that none of their injuries was serious.



drunk

Nine Irish nationals -- eight in Poznan and one in Gdansk -- have been arrested, but all were later released.

"The reasons for the detentions were six drunk and disorderly and two property damage," explained a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

She added that the single arrest in Gdansk was for a public order offence.

The spokeswoman said there had been "many calls for general info, people calling to complain or seek advice regarding accommodation, campsites and petty theft".



pleased

But she noted that, for the most part, officials who travelled from Dublin to deal with any diplomatic problems have been extremely pleased.

"It working out pretty well for the Irish," she said, pointing to the huge wave of positive media about our supporters in the local press coverage.

James Hands from Louth said: "The fans are here to support their country, win or lose."

Michael Doherty, who travelled from London to support Ireland, added: "It was a great, great tribute to the team to see the fans sing like that.

"And it will be the same in Poznan."

And Ian Slevin from Kinsealy said: "It's been absolutely brilliant here.

"The Polish have been brilliant and hopefully there is a performance left in the Irish team."

kdoyle@herald.ie

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