Euro 2012 guide book tells fans how best to stay on the ball


HOW DO you order a beer in Polish? How long does it take to travel from Poznan to Gdansk? What’s the Polish equivalent of dialling 999? These and other questions are answered in a guide for people travelling to the Euro 2012 soccer championships in June.

The Euro 2012 Survival Guide by drinkaware.ieand the Department of Foreign Affairs includes advice from the department on the European Health Insurance Card, local currency, what to do in an emergency and contacts for the local Irish Embassy. It also provides information on transport options and responsible drinking.

Speaking at the launch of the guide, FAI chief executive John Delaney encouraged people to celebrate Ireland’s participation in Euro 2012 in a responsible way.

In the past, Mr Delaney has bought large rounds of drinks for Irish fans abroad, most recently in a Tallinn pub in November, when he provided a free bar. Asked if that conflicted with responsible drinking, he said his daughter had chastised him. It was done to thank the Irish fans for making the effort to travel abroad to support their team, he said.

“It’s something we’ve done in the past but it’s not something I intend to do in Poland,” he said. Keeping 20,000 supporters “fed and watered” would be impossible. “I think getting them tickets to get into the ground is the biggest thing for them.”

Mr Delaney said the championships had lifted the country’s spirits. “I would encourage all the Irish people to get behind the team. Celebrate your country. Get the bunting up. Gather in your houses or pubs or wherever it is, responsibly doing so, and celebrate being Irish.”

Launching the guide, Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore encouraged people to check their passports before travelling and reminded them that, should they be lucky enough to travel to Ukraine, the country does not accept passports due to expire within six months.

He also advised fans to email their travel arrangements to themselves, including a scanned copy of their passports and details of health and travel insurance, in case they lose their belongings.

Mr Gilmore said consular assistance would be available in Poznan and Gdansk but this was limited to emergencies. “They can’t pay your way home. They can’t pay your hotel bill but if something does go seriously wrong, the Irish Government, through our department and consular service, will be available to help.” He said similar arrangements would be in place in Ukraine, should Ireland qualify.

Drinkaware.iechief executive Fionnuala Sheehan said the guide was available for download on the drinkaware.iewebsite and would also be available at Irish airports and on ferries.

Ireland will play Croatia in Poznan on June 10th. This will be followed by Spain vs Ireland in Gdansk on June 14th and the Italy match in Poznan on June 18th.