herald

Friday 15 December 2017

President Higgins mixes with the Green Army

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins has urged Irish fans to keep singing despite the devastating opening to the Euro 2012 campaign.

In an upbeat mood while meeting fans in the old market square in Poznan, the President said he enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere created by the 30,000-strong green army.



Walkabout

"The singing was great before and even better then after," he said. "I just want to walk around and meet the fans. The fans were fantastic last night and I want them all to keep singing."

The President met local mayor Ryszard Grobelny at the city council offices before visiting the Museum of Musical Instruments in the Stary Rynek square.

The walkabout took place as Irish fans packed into campervans, trains, buses and planes to make the 300km journey to Gdansk.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs has reported no serious incidents involving the huge numbers of travelling fans, although one overly eager Irish supporter travelled to Poland on his wife's passport by mistake, only to be refused entry by immigration officers.

He was forced to endure a nervous one-hour wait in Poznan airport after flying in from Dublin for the Ireland-Croatia match.

After the blunder was spotted by Polish officials, he rang his wife who rushed to a Garda station to have his correct travel documents scanned and transmitted to the airport.

Within an hour, border control had seen the copied passport and were happy that the man was who he said he was, despite carrying the wrong passport.

It is understood he passed through check-in and security at Dublin Airport without anyone noticing the error.

The man declined to talk publicly about his blunder.

Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar is to travel to Poland for the crucial matches against Spain and Italy.

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