Green Army in hunt for credit to get to France

Credit unions around the country have been fielding calls from fans desperate to secure some funding to get to France for this Sunday’s crunch game against the host nation.

Green Army in hunt for credit to get to France

Tickets or no tickets, it seems a whole new posse of fans is set to head out to France to join the thousands already there.

The Irish League of Credit Unions confirmed that branches around the country were dealing with people looking for loans so they can get to the game on Sunday.

“We expect this to continue throughout today and on Friday. Credit unions, where at all possible, will do their best to facilitate members through the appropriate channels and with the relevant checks,” said a spokesperson.

According to the FAI, around 9,000 tickets have been made available to Irish fans. Some 3,500 tickets have been allocated to Ireland supporters through Uefa’s ticketing portal, which went on sale earlier this year. Extra tickets went on sale through the portal yesterday but were quickly sold out.

The FAI has said it will continue to communicate with Uefa in an attempt to free up extra tickets.

For those who can’t make it to France, a giant fanzone for the Ireland-France match has been agreed by Dublin city authorities for the Sunday clash.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney asked Dublin City Council about the fanzone on the streets of the capital after the issue was raised in the Dáil. The big screen fanzone will be located on Smithfield Square.

“This will provide a fantastic atmosphere for Ireland fans to gather together to cheer on the Boys in Green.

“It will also mean that families will be able to watch the match without having to go to the pub,” said Labour leader Brendan Howlin, who had raised the issue.

Meanwhile, politicians in the Seanad called for a reversal of recent Aer Lingus and Ryanair flight price hikes for fans looking to travel to the game.

Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer labelled the price increases “exploitation” and said airlines should be encouraging fans to travel.

“It is unacceptable that the airlines should be price gouging to make benefit or profit at the cost of fans. It’s a pity that the airlines are engaging in this type of activity to maximize profits for themselves,” he said.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair flights to Lyon and France for Sunday have jumped up following Ireland’s win on Wednesday. The hikes were “pricing the ordinary man out of getting on that flight” said Fine Gael senator Ray Butler.

Fine Gael’s Paudie Coffey said the price rises by airlines represented an “exploitation of our fans”.

Mr Coffey said: “I’d ask the airlines to be fair, that’s all anyone is asking for, to be fair to allow these people attend to support their national team.”

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