Streets turn to green, white and gold as Irish fans celebrate

 

Irish fans were in celebratory mood this afternoon following Robbie Keane’s last gasp equaliser for Ireland against Germany in today’s World Cup thriller.

Fans celebrate
Leonard McKee and Paddy Sweeney, both from Ballyfermot in Dublin's Temple Bar earlier. Photograph: Karen Dravitzki
Green, white and gold was in evidence across the centre of the capital as fans spilled out from bars onto the city streets.

"You would never dream of something like this happening, Keano scoring in the last minute of the game," said Paddy Sweeney from Ballyfermot who watched the game in Temple Bar with his cousin Leonard McKee. "Nothing can express what that goal meant to Ireland," he added.

Barry Plunkett from Tallaght thought the team could have won the match. "We should have scored more than we did and we dominated the game from start to finish," he said. "The Germans had one chance and they scored. It was a good goal though."

Fans celebrate
Niamh Burke from Inchicore and Alister Scobie, Martin Endersdy and Ross McGlen from Stranraer, Scotland. Photograph: Karen Dravitzki
Businesses around the country took a substantial siesta today to facilitate employees watching the match.

From the 12.30 p.m. kick-off to the final whistle, employees temporarily downed tools to watch Ireland play Germany.

A spokesman for IBEC said most companies either allowed employees time off for the duration of the match, or opted to bring the game to the employees by installing televisions screens in the office.

Some companies introduced flexi-time for a day to allow people to work their full day outside match hours.

Fans celebrate
Laura Convery from Raheny and Jennifer Prior from Dundrum. Photograph: Karen Dravitzki
The State’s biggest employers put considerable organisation into ensuring their employees watched the match - and stayed at work. Intel brought in a number of big screens for the occasion, with onsite venues catering for up to 2,200 employees at its Leixlip plant, while IBM has opted to bring soccer to the desk, introducing a facility for employees to watch the match on their PCs.

Among the Irish fans celebrating today’s result were Alister Scobie, Martin Endersy all from Stranraer in Scotland, who traveled to Dublin to support the Irish team.

Robbie Keane’s goal would keep Ireland’s World Cup dream alive and probably mean another day off work, he added hopefully.

Laura Convery (15) from Raheny and Jennifer Prior (15) from Dundrum hadn’t let their Junior Cert exams get in the way of the celebrations. Both had completed the English first papers earlier this afternoon. "We’re going to win the World Cup because we’ve got the luck of the Irish," said Jennifer. They said Ireland’s heroes of the match were Robbie Keane and Matt Holland.

O'Connell Bridge
Dublin's O'Connell Street was deserted as motorists and pedestrians watched the match earlier today