Security concerns will not deter Irish fans from following the Boys In Green to France this summer, according to a supporters’ group.
You Boys In Green, a community group for Republic of Ireland soccer fans, ran a poll asking supporters if recent terrorist attacks would stop them attending this summer’s European Championships, with fewer than one in 10 saying they would be discouraged as a result of terrorism activities.
Recent remarks by Patrick Calvar, head of France’s DGSI internal intelligence agency, that Daesh (Islamic State) is planning new attacks have again raised the question of security measures at this summer’s tournament.
However a spokesperson for You Boys In Green said fans across Europe are defiant in the face of such threats.
“We recently ran a poll on the issue and over 90% of fans said they will not be put off by terrorists.
“There is a sense of defiance among fans and while most are saying they will be vigilant, they will not be fearful,” he said.
“The feeling we are getting is that fans from all nations feel the same and will be united against terrorism. People have to live their lives and that means supporting your team as you always have,” the spokesperson said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued advice to travelling fans — saying supporters should ensure that their passport is in date; that they have a European Health Insurance card and travel insurance; and that they drink responsibly and behave respectfully when engaging with local authorities.
Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin said Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan is working on planning and preparations with the FAI, the gardaí and travel industry representatives and is also seeking to ensure that there are additional, specially trained, consular staff at the venues.
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