Irish swap touchdown for ‘tri’

Tipperary native Brian Lonergan fulfilled a long-standing ambition when his tricolour appeared on live TV during Sunday’s NFL clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park.

Irish swap touchdown for ‘tri’

With just seconds remaining in the first half, eagle-eyed Sky Sports viewers spotted an Irish flag bearing the word ‘Ardfinnan’ behind one of the goals at the iconic stadium. With Candlestick Park due to be demolished early next year, 35-year-old Lonergan and his friends couldn’t let the chance pass to hoist the tricolour.

Lonergan is one of a group of five men with season tickets for Candlestick Park. Former Tipperary senior footballer Niall Kelly, a native of Kildangan who played for two years with Ardfinnan, is another of the season ticket holders. Brothers Kevin and Colin White, from Ardfinnan, also have season tickets and Ronan O’Dea, who hails from Kilfenora in Clare, makes up the quintet.

Brian’s brother Liam, who is holidaying in San Francisco, was also at the game on Sunday when the 49ers beat the Seahawks 19-17.

The five men are based in San Francisco and all play with the local Sean Treacy’s club

“I’d been threatening to bring the flag because I have had it for years. They’re closing Candlestick Park, it was the second last game and I said I’d get the old Ardfinnan flag in there before they do.

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