Eamon's hopes of seeing Boys in Green wither on the branch


THE TÁNAISTE was hoping he might manage to nip across to take in a match in the next couple of weeks. There have to be some advantages to being Foreign Minister.

The last government was notorious for finding reasons to be on duty in foreign climes when a major sporting fixture just happened to be taking place. It used to be standing room only on the government jet as they rushed off to make keynote addresses at important international conferences near Twickenham and the like.

Poor Eamon Gilmore is travelling to the Russian Caucasus next week for a series of worthy meetings and conferences which have nothing to do with football.

He had high hopes of getting over to at least one of the Euro 2012 games when he met Sergey Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, in Moscow last year. Eamon and Sergey had a big chat about Irish winger Aiden McGeady, who had signed to Spartak Moscow the previous year.

They raised a toast to McGeady, and the Tánaiste said he was looking forward to seeing him line out in Poland for the Boys in Green.

He’ll have to watch him on television, though.

Still, the Tánaiste tried to get into the swing of things yesterday by announcing the consular arrangements for Irish fans travelling to the tournament.

Consular officers will be on duty 24 hours a day in Poznan and Gdansk to assist Irish citizens.

The numbers to call in case of a consular emergency are Poznan: 0048-880-529105; Gdansk: 0048-880-529078.

The Irish Embassy in Warsaw will also be open throughout the period of the group games.

“And best of luck to all the fans travelling over. Stay safe,” says a stoic Eamon, as he packs his bags.