Irish fans winning hearts at Euro 2016

irish fans
Photo by Patrick Calatayu

The Ireland and Northern Ireland football (soccer) teams have exceeded expectations in the UEFA Euro 2016 Cup, currently taking place in France. However, despite their achievements, the real winners at Euro 2016 are the Irish fans.

They are being touted as the greatest fans in the world, thanks to their spontaneous singing performances, acts of charity, and overall jovial demeanor. Here are a few reasons why Irish fans are winning hearts at Euro 2016.

Sweet Serenade

Irish fans in France for the tournament have made quite the impression on the locals and internet alike, but not by cheering. Rather, they have been found around town using their voices in a different way. The Irish fans were caught on camera dancing, singing and serenading everyone from babies to nuns. 

In this adorable video, a group of enthusiastic fans found themselves in the same metro car as a baby who appeared ready for a nap. They took it upon themselves to sing her a lullaby.

When Twinkle Twinkle Little Star wasn’t enough, they started up a round of Hush Little Baby. The greatest part of the video comes at the end however. There they attempt in a joking yet slightly threatening manner to get the entire car to quiet down to help the little one sleep.

And just in case their parents are at home worrying they missed church, these fans serenaded a nun with a punchy version of the Lord’s Prayer.

She doesn’t look quite sure if she should stay or find another car to ride in. Let’s just hope they weren’t in the quiet car on the train!

Acts of kindness

While some other countries are experiencing crude and violent acts by their supporters, the Irish fans have been called “model supporters” by the French newspaper Le Monde. In addition, media from around the world are enjoying covering the delightful antics of the Irish fans. Some posted video of fans cleaning up bottles while chanting “Clean up for the boys in green”. Others focused on the multiple occasions of forging relationships with other countries. It is clear the fans are winning over all those who come into contact with them.

A handful of fans even helped change a tire for an elderly couple. The image below was posted on Twitter by Enda Bonner.

One of the most notable things to arise out of the coverage of the Irish fans is how there is a sense of community between the fans from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, supporting the spirit of reconciliation between the two countries. One such occasion was the uplifting of voices during Ireland’s match against Sweden, where the crowd sang a tribute for a Northern Ireland fan who died after a fall during his time at Euro 2016.

In a time where the news is often flooded with examples of violence and other difficult stories, it is a breath of fresh air to get to cheer on not only the teams, but the world’s greatest fans as well.

What other acts of kindness or cheer have you heard about from the tournament? Let us know in the comments below.