'Merkel' soccer Tricolour sold for charity


A CHEEKY football banner designed by Ireland fans that made headlines across the world has been sold at auction for almost €16,000.

Ireland football fans first unveiled the “Angela Merkel Thinks Were At Work” Tricolour at Dublin airport earlier this month while en route to Poland for Euro 2012.

The banner went viral on social networking sites before reaching the front page of two Irish national newspapers, the BBC website, US television and even on to Germany’s best-selling newspaper, Bild.

The six University of Limerick graduates who uploaded the original picture auctioned the banner on RTÉ radio yesterday morning, with all funds raised going to good causes.

The Tricolour was bought by Antrim-based Glendun Group and Iris RD, who submitted a joint bid totalling €15,800.

Well-known Dublin pub Copper Face Jacks, which submitted a losing bid, donated a further €5,000. The funds are to be split between the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation in Dublin and the Oscar Appeal, set up to help provide treatment for Oscar Knox (3), a Belfast boy with neuroblastoma, a cancer that develops from nerve tissue.

Oscar also became a hit on social networking sites after his own version of the Tricolour, with the words “My Ma Thinks Ill be in Bed Early” was uploaded to Twitter ahead of Ireland’s first game against Croatia.

Glendun and Iris R&D have said they intend to donate the Merkel flag to Oscar.

German ambassador to Ireland Dr Eckhard Lübkemeier has invited the six students to meet him at the German residence in Dublin on Monday.