Irish football fans going to Euro 2016 face high travel costs

Travel agents report brisk business as fans vent about accommodation and flight prices

Demand by football supporters to follow Ireland’s progress in the Euro 2016 championships is up to a third higher than the unsuccessful Polish campaign four years ago.

Aer Lingus and Ryanair have added extra flights for French-bound charters, while tour operators are reporting brisk demand for packages to Paris, Bordeaux and Lille for Ireland's three opening games.

Accommodation, however, is a problem, with €200 per night for a single room being quoted: "Sales have been very, very busy. We are almost sold out now," said Abbey Travel's Robbie Sinnott.

Abbey has filled all of its two- and three-match packages costing €1,400 and €1,800 respectively, with some day trips, including flights, still available from €399.


Marathon Sports Travel's Francis Roche expects weekend and day trips for the June 18th Belgium game in Bordeaux to sell out early next month. Day trips to the Sweden and Italy games cost from €440.

Fans have already complained about Ryanair and Aer Lingus prices. Ryanair is charging €170 to Paris Beauvais in the days before the Sweden game on 13th June compared to €30 a week earlier.

Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporters Club Dublin chairman Gerry Rochford said: "It's unbelievable. The last time I can remember it was like this was in 1988 in Germany. "

Thousands will travel without tickets, he believed.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have warned fans to “steer clear of trouble . . . and drink responsibly”.

Fans are encouraged to sign up with the department's Citizens' Registration service, which allows for swift contact in case of emergencies, and to stay in touch with home about travel arrangements in France.

Following last year's terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and the multiple attacks on Paris in November, the department's advice is for travellers to "exercise extreme caution".