Tag Archives: john delaney

Who Caused The Trouble at Lansdowne Road in 1995?

8 Jun

115114

I’ll explain that title later on.

So, the long-awaited and much hyped Ireland v England rematch at Lansdowne Road passed off peacefully (as of 24 hours after I haven’t read any reports of trouble anyhow) and a rousing ballad session in The Grand Canal Hotel afterwards saw both sets of fans enjoying the day, even if the hosts outstayed the visitors in terms of stamina!

On the pitch, a scoreless draw was probably about right as a decent enough first half went the usual way end of season friendlies go when both teams were diluted with subs in the second. England’s second half chances had almost a sense of “we better not score and upset our hosts” feel, while the Irish fans willed their charges on to score against the English, a goal that is always celebrated with more fervour and longer memory than goals against other opposition. It wasn’t to be for the Irish fans on the day. Alot wasn’t to be for Irish fans on the day and this is the main thrust of this blog today.

I wrote last November about John Delaney and the Irish fans
https://irelandfaneuro2012.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/why-im-finished-going-to-ireland-home-games/. Things appear to be getting worse.

The bullying and paranoia continued yesterday at Section 114 of the South Stand of Lansdowne Road (I’ll never call it the sponsor’s name). A few examples here from Irish fans, fans of impeccable character who have travelled to every corner of the globe spending their money following the team they love but getting sick and tired of this treatment in their own stadium.

Alan: Had a suit-clad person and two stewards stand in front of my seat during the half time break, suit told me it was his job to ensure no anti-FAI/Delaney protest banners were produced. The three stooges left during the second half.

Barry: Section 114 was primarily singled out and cordoned off by stewards to search everbody’s bags. (See photos of Section 114 and 115 above, 2o metres apart).  Other sections either side of 114 were not subject to the same or any scrutiny. The food area of 114 at half time was awash with stewards getting instructions in dealing with “the best fans in the world” who again were prevented from making a justifiable and utterly peaceful protest. The FAI are building and dismantling the stadium at the same time. The team deserves our support and we in turn deserve the chance to support the team. Lads who raised over €3000 voluntarily to get flags and banners for the South Stand are not renewing season tickets.

Pauric: Showed my ticket at the turnstile and was then requested to remove my jacket before being searched. Got into seat and no hassle in the 1st half. Then the “Delaney out” banner appeared and could see extra security come in.

I left 114 with exactly 2 minutes left in the 1st half to go to the toilet. As I left could see a large number of the security in the orange bibs standing at the entrance of 114 being given instructions by some man in an FAI blazer.

When I got back into area I was standing, I noticed the extra security was flanked either side of 114 similar to the USA game. The “Delaney out” banners appeared again and a member of the FAI and 2 members of security enter our row of seats to try remove it. These 2 members of security then proceeded to stand in our row of seats for the remainder of the game which to me was them trying to intimidate people in 114.

Brian: Had a nondescript, non-protest Ireland flag taken down during the game. Was told it wasn’t “registered”.

Since when did flags have to be registered at an Ireland game? Were England fans obliged to register their flags? I think we know the answer to that one.

So there you have it from only four fans. Bags searched for “offending” flags (that don’t contravene stadium regulations), stewards and suits moving into only one stadium area to keep track of peaceful protests from Irish fans and making them feel like troublemakers and removal of run of the mill flags for not being “registered”. This is the first I heard that flags needed to be registered. I thought the only problem with flags in this country was in the Six Counties. How naïve of me.

Then when the game was over, Section 114 exit was again surrounded by stewards flanking exiting fans as if they were descendants of the people who wrecked Lansdowne Road 20 years previously.

Hence the title of my blog. I doubt very much English fans were subject to the level of searching, scrutiny, invasion of baggage/clothes, confiscation of flags (offensive or otherwise) and utter paranoia as Irish fans in Section 114 were. One is left wondering who actually caused trouble in 1995 given the attention given to the “best fans in the world” yesterday.

John Delaney went on radio last November saying he didn’t have a problem with fans protesting. So why is he demonstrating the complete opposite yesterday and last November at the USA game at the same venue in the same Section 114?

The only “troublemakers” at yesterday’s game were the stewards, clearly acting on instructions from Abbotstown. It’s shameful, pathetic, needless and embarrassing. All the good work done in recent years with Singing Sections, colour, atmosphere, away trips and the exemplary behaviour, monies raised for charities, all this is being completely crushed by an administration and CEO who wouldn’t look out place in North Korea.

The clock is ticking on your hypocrisy, misleading of the public and bullying John.

Stand Down for The Boys In Green.

Advertisements

My Footballing A-Z for 2014!

30 Dec

oshea-getty_3073064b

A is for Aiden. I watched Ireland beat Georgia in September while on my holidays in Kusadasi. In the 90th minute, Aiden McGeady’s world class goal almost resulted in my overturning the bar table in delight, wonder and relief. I got some strange looks but not a shit was given. One of the goals of the year.

B is for Brazil. The 2014 World Cup was held in the country that gave us probably the greatest international team of all in 1970. Sadly the 2014 version and the country itself went into meltdown in a 7-1 semi-final humiliation by eventual winners Germany.

C is for Croly. Trevor Croly’s 2nd year in charge of Shamrock Rovers proved to be a massive disappointment. Negative and unattractive football, bizarre after match comments and an early petering out of the League of Ireland challenge saw Croly depart before the end of a dismal season for Rovers fans.

D is for Delaney. The CEO of the FAI covered himself in own goals in November. From overseeing a ticket shambles involving Irish fans for the match in Glasgow, to having his association threaten legal action against publications denying it was himself murdering the ballad “Joe McDonnell” in a Dublin bar, for which he soon admitted it was his “singing”, to his bully-boy tacticts towards the “best fans in the world” who dared protest peacefully over his performance, to moaning about invasions of privacy despite allowing camera crews and social journalists follow and report his every move, the myth of John the Baptist was beginning to look more like John the Gobshite.

E is for Euro Qualifiers. Ireland began their quest for Euro 2016 qualification with four matches between September and November. Two wins, a draw and a defeat leave Martin O’Neill’s team in a challenging position for the two automatic places for the party in France. A reasonable haul given the opening four assignments.

F is for Fenlon. The only real choice to succeed Croly above as Rovers’ Manager towards the end of the 2014 season. Rovers’ demanding fans will expect a proper challenge for the title in 2015 after three successive flops since the 2011 title win under Michael O’Neill. Fenlon will acknowledge the expectation.

G is for Glasgow. A cracking couple of nights on an Ireland away trip was softened by Ireland’s defeat at Celtic Park against Scotland in November. Celtic Park’s roar usually has me joining in, but ex-Celtic’s Shaun Maloney’s goal brought the roar from the Tartan Army and not the Boys in Green. It was a sickening moment.

H is for Hoodoo. St Patrick’s Athletic finally ended a 53 year FAI Cup hoodoo by finally lifting the silverware by defeating Derry City 2-0 in the final. The hoodoo baton now lies a few miles up the Naas Road to Rovers.

I is for Idiotic. The FAI’s Gestapo-esque disciplinary regime, meaning that players who accumulated four bookings in 2014 will miss the opening game of the 2015 season.

J is for Jay. Jay Beatty, a young Celtic fan became an internet sensation after he was filmed on Live TV being carried around Celtic Park at the end of the 2014 season lap of honour by his hero, Celtic’s Georgios Samaras. The Greek FA continued the friendship by inviting Jay to see Samaras in the World Cup and Jay and Samaras were further honoured with an award by the Greek Sports Journalists in December. A real feel-good story in 2014 this.

K is for Keane. There’s only one Keano goes the song. Er not quite! Robbie continued to accumulate his record goals tally for the Irish team while Roy continued to attract headlines for being involved in a hotel fight prior to the Scottish game, rumours of player bust-ups at Aston Villa and the release of his second autobiography also. Keanos, Keanos, Keanos……….

L is for Laughing Stock. The Rangers FC. Nothing to add.

M is for McGinley. This is football and golf. Paul McGinley’s outstanding captaincy of the European Ryder Cup golf team led to a convincing victory of the Americans. That I was lucky to play schoolboy football with McGinner from Under 9 to Under 16 and that I can still see him selling “Soccer Reporter” at the Milltown Road end of Glenmalure Park in the 80s is what gives this the football angle.

N is for Neil. Neil Lennon departed Celtic after a pretty successful first stint at football management. That he did so despite being assaulted on the touchline by a Hearts fan, being sent bullets and other threats in his mail, being told he brought it on himself by Scottish journalists only made my admiration for the guy even higher. Thanks Neil. Has ended 2014 with a very impressive early spell at Bolton in The Championship, this guy knows his onions.

O is for O’Shea. Scorer of THAT goal in Gelsenkirchen in October. If my delight at McGeady’s goal on my holidays was palpable, O’Shea’s goal sent me completely berserk on my couch as he steered in our equaliser in the 94th minute against World Champions Germany in his 100th Irish appearance. I screamed the living room down, sent the dog running for cover, climbed my other couch and probably had my French next door neighbour ready to call the Gardai for noise pollution. Moment of the year.

P is for Protest. Further to D above, Irish fans decided to hold a peaceful protest at the USA friendly match in November at Lansdowne Road as a result of the Glasgow ticket shambles. The FAI saw fit to send in heavy-handed stewards and Gardai to “quell” the protest. Despite the protest banners not contravening Stadium regulations, banners were confiscated and faced with stadium regulation leaflets, stewards tore them up in front of angry fans. John Delaney subsequently stated he didn’t have an issue with fans making their feelings known.   Make up your own mind about that gem from Delaney.

Q is for Quinn. Stephen Quinn had an excellent 2014 under Martin O’Neill and was testament that if you keep plugging away, recognition can and will follow. Quinn’s parents both passed away in his early 20s and he almost quit the game, but at the age of 28 finally got his first competitive start in that September victory over Georgia. He is now very much a Premier League player at Hull City and the Clondalkin lad’s honesty and perseverance a real example to others in his profession.

R is for Roche. Stephanie Roche became not only an internet sensation, but has been voted into the Top 3 goals of 2014 alongside James Rodriguez and Robin Van Persie for her wonder goal while playing for Peamount United. She will attend FIFA’s Balon D’Or award ceremony where the decision on whose goal was voted the finest will be announced. She could well win it and should really.

S is for Stevie G. Stephen Gerrard’s slip in a crucial Premier League game against Chelsea became an iconic image in 2014. With Liverpool pushing for their first title since 1990, Gerrard slipped in possession of the ball 30 yards from goal, allowing Chelsea’s Demba Ba to score a crucial goal. Liverpool lost the match and their momentum, Gerrard’s slip has become a song taunting the hapless Liverpool skipper.

T is for tickets. The FAI’s utter incompetence in allocating the 3,200 or so tickets to Irish fans for the Scottish match in Glasgow became a real sore point for fans. People with 100% away attendance records, people with season tickets that supposedly gave them “priority” for away games and people promised tickets by FAI officials, saw themselves left to source tickets from the SFA instead. Despite fair and reasonable questions being put to the FAI over this affair, none of them were answered and CEO John Delaney sought to blame the SFA instead, despite the SFA granting the usual 5% to the visiting nation. Some people were granted tickets who hadn’t even been to a home game before! You couldn’t make this shit up, it could only be done in Abbotstown.

U is for Unstoppable. Cristiano Ronaldo deservedly took that accolade as his incredible scoring feats in La Liga took Real Madrid to their tenth European Cup/Champions League triumph. While he disappointed with Portugal in a dreadful World Cup performance, his power, pace and goals were just unstoppable in 2014. He’ll be around for a while yet.

V is for Villain. Luis Suarez almost single-handedly drove Liverpool to the brink of Premier League glory. He also became World Cup villain when he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in a World Cup Group match in Brazil. His antics were truly appalling, leading to a hefty and proper punishment from FIFA given it was his third proven bite on an opponent. A smashing footballer, but a headcase.

W is for World Cup Winners. Germany deservedly lifted the World Cup in Brazil thanks to an extra-time winner from Mario Goetze in the final against Argentina. Germany’s young team had promised much in 2010 and they delivered four years on, with their 7-1 dismantling of hosts Brazil in the semi final being notable both for Germany’s ruthlessness and Brazil’s brittleness. They are worthy World Champions.

X is for X-Rated. Whether it’s x-rated tackling or language from the terraces, football isn’t the place for the faint-hearted. If you’re a linesman at Tallaght Stadium or most League of Ireland venues, one mistake and a flurry of x-rated abuse will come your way. Roll on March!

Y is for Years. Twenty seven now to be precise since Rovers won the FAI Cup. The term “cup specialists” looks pretty silly now. That the 1987 win over Dundalk remains so vivid in my mind to complete a third successive League/Cup double for Rovers only adds to frustration of such a barren Cup run. The drive for 25 continues in 2015!

Z is for zzzzzzzzzzzz. The abiding memory of watching Rovers under Trevor Croly, or your emotion reading this.

Happy New Year all!

Phelim Warren, 30th December 2014

@freewheeler12

Why I’m finished going to Ireland home games.

27 Nov

Delaney

I  can’t actually believe I’ve just typed that headline above.  Since my Dad brought myself and my two brothers, Myles and Kevin to Lansdowne Road for the first time on 3rd July 1973 to see an All Ireland/Shamrock Rovers XI play the World Champions Brazil, going to home matches (and away ones for that matter) never failed to get my excitement levels soaring.  My anticipation at what lay ahead in the 90 minutes plus that I would stand on whatever terrace I could stand on (or seat I could sit in when all seater stadia were imposed on us) always was at fever pitch, whether or not it was Lansdowne Road, Dalymount Park, Tolka Park, RDS, it didn’t matter.  Supporting Ireland was my little bit of Heaven, still is and always will be.  I will however from here on and for the foreseeable future, watch the home games on my sofa or in a bar with fans (who have become firm friends over the years) who are as frustrated and demoralised as me.

So why am I finished going to home games?  Well, I’ve had it with the Football Association of Ireland.  Now before I go any further, I want to acknowledge what the FAI have done in recent years in conjunction with the Irish fans’ website You Boys in Green with which I am heavily involved.  The FAI (eventually) caved in and gave former international Dave Langan a long overdue Testimonial Dinner in October 2008.  Dave had been injured on international duty in 1981 in a never to be forgotten Worl d Cup Qualifier against France (we won 3-2) at Lansdowne Road.  That injury led to a catalogue of subsequent injuries for Dave, who fell on very hard times.  Eventually as I said however, the FAI granted Dave the testimonial dinner and this was of assistance to Dave.  Fans attending the dinner however (I was one) were horrified to learn afterwards that the pre-dinner drinks reception was deducted from Dave’s cut!  We would gladly have paid for our own drinks if we’d known the bar tab was on Dave Langan.  The money raised on Dave’s behalf was then interminably slow in getting to its rightful destination (you can read further about it in Dave’s autobiography “Running Through Walls”).  We were thankful for small mercies, Dave got his recognition, but without YBIG, Dave would still be  forgotten.

The FAI was amenable to the setting up of a “Singing Section” when Lansdowne Road was being re-developed.  Frustrated at the ghostly atmosphere while home games were played in Croke Park, YBIG asked for a designated section for vocal fans to be set up.  That was implemented.  That relationship was badly damaged however at last week’s match against the USA at Lansdowne Road.  Irish fans, frustrated at the lack of transparency and fairness in the allocation of tickets to the away game against Scotland in Glasgow (and previous games in recent years), decided to stage a peaceful protest and brought in flags/banners in protest about the FAI’s system and in protest about the Chief Executive John Delaney.  The stance the FAI took to this protest, from the fans John Delaney labelled “the best fans in the world” was to send in heavy-handed stewards and Gardai to the Singing Section.  The protest flags/banners, despite abiding by the Stadium guidelines in terms of health and safety and other regulations, were forcibly removed by stewards.  Stewards also tore up Stadium regulations when fans pointed out the banners didn’t contravene any conditions.  In short, bully boy tactics were enforced by the Association to try and “quell” a completely peaceful and justified protest.  It was un-necessary, unfair and totally unjustified on the Association’s part.  John Delaney stated in a subsequent interview that he didn’t have an issue with fans protesting about the state of Irish football.  The action by stewards and Gardai last week clearly demonstrated this was not the case.

I’m grateful to other people in the FAI who have helped YBIG in organising Fans’ matches, who have provided footballs, match kit and other facilities to us.  I have friends in the Association who I know do their job superbly and with the best interests of Irish football at heart.  The past few weeks however have made up my mind in giving the FAI any more money, or buying merchandise associated with the FAI.  The following passage will really explain why I’ve made this gut-wrenching decision.

At the end of October, emails were sent to those who applied for tickets for the match in Glasgow.  It very quickly became apparent that dozens (at least) of fans who had 100% attendance records at away games in recent years, fans who had been “promised” by FAI officials in Tbilisi in September they’d be looked after for Glasgow, had failed in their request for precious Scottish match tickets.  It also became apparent that the FAI had absolutely no system in place to ensure fans who deserved these tickets got them.  The deadline for tickets was extended by the FAI, despite the demand being over-subscribed (we would be granted 3,200 tickets by the Scottish FA, 5% of the capacity).   Why was the deadline extended?  This question was put to the FAI.  It hasn’t been answered.  It emerged that people who hadn’t even been to an Ireland home game had been given tickets to the Scotland game.

When Irish fans bought season tickets, one of the “attractions” is that it would provide a  “priority” option in securing away tickets.  Dozens (at least) of season ticket holders were denied Scottish tickets.  Some priority that.

An urgent meeting to discuss the Glasgow ticket mess was set up between YBIG and the FAI.  Questions were put to the FAI whose officials stated they would be answered.  Those questions haven’t been answered.  A follow up email to John Delaney contained the following questions:

  Does the FAI retain data from supporters after away tickets have been allocated, in respect of compiling details of how many games they have attended, and take that into account when determining whether to allocate tickets for future games?

  If the FAI does retain such data, why did the system fail so spectacularly, and why were fans such as season ticket holders with 100% away records refused tickets? We understand that an FAI employee indicated that he took his “eye off the ball” but issues remain over why individual mistakes can make such a difference and why a robust system is not in place.

  If the FAI does not retain such data, why is it not retained and considered when deciding whether supporters should be allocated tickets for away games?

  What is the meaning of the term “priority”, in the promotional material for season tickets, and what other groups have priority equal to or above season ticket holders?

  Why did the FAI change policy and assign priority to supporters’ clubs in respect of the allocation of away tickets, without making this fact publicly known?

  Why did the FAI not benchmark the allocation to supporters club against previous requests and/or season tickets held by that supporters club?

  How did the number of applications for Scotland tickets increase from the 6,000 quoted to supporters in Tbilisi, to 10,000 in FAI communications subsequently, to “four times higher than the number available” in the release of the 29th October, 2014, when the portal for away applications closed on the 31st July?

  Were applications for tickets received and considered after the 31st July, or did persons who applied after that date receive tickets when persons who applied on time did not, and if this happened, why did it happen?

  Why has the FAI sought to blame the Scottish FA for refusing to provide more tickets, when the main issue raised by YBIG and other supporters does not concern the number of tickets received but rather the means by which they were allocated?

  Why was the FAI unwilling to commit to the implementation of a fair and transparent system for the allocation of away tickets, along the lines of the Scottish FA’s own system, when they met with site users over a year ago, and also in the last week?

Not unreasonable questions I’m sure you’ll agree.  The questions have gone unanswered and have been pointedly ignored by the Association.

Anger grew towards CEO John Delaney, justifiably so following the Scottish tickets fiasco and the pathetic orders to deny a peaceful protest in Lansdowne Road last week.  Delaney attempted to shift blame for the ticket mess onto the SFA for “only” giving us 5% of the capacity of Celtic Park.  He further fanned the flames of anger by suggesting there would be “tension” around Glasgow as Irish fans were forced to buy tickets in the Scottish section.  This was disrespectful not only to the “best fans in the world” but also the Tartan Army, another set of fans with a justifiably excellent worldwide reputation.  In an infantile gesture of defiance to the SFA prior to the Scottish game, FAI officials boycotted the pre-match reception held by their Scottish hosts.

As the dust settled on Glasgow and the Lansdowne protest, anger towards Delaney soared.  It soon transpired however that John Delaney went out after the USA game to The Bath Bar adjacent to Lansdowne Road for his well-liked few pints.  During that post-match gathering,  Delaney sang “The Ballad of Joe McDonnell”, a wonderful song written from a 1981 hunger striker’s viewpoint by Brian Warfield of the legendary ballad group The Wolfe Tones.   A snippet of Delaney’s version was captured on video and posted on the Internet.

What followed has been probably the most spectacular own goal ever scored by John Delaney and the FAI.   The sports website balls.ie posted the clip of Delaney’s “singing” on its website.  A phone call from an FAI official called for its removal, with the assertion that it wasn’t in fact John Delaney singing the song.  As balls.ie had no corroboration or absolute proof it was Delaney and faced with the threat of legal action over its continued posting, they decided to remove the video.  English newspapers The Guardian and Telegraph also elected to post the video on their online versions a couple of days later.  Similar legal threats were issued to both papers, before John Delaney went on Irish radio to confirm it was in fact him singing “Joe McDonnell” in the Bath Pub after all!   So here we were in a situation where three publications were threatened with legal action over a video, with one arm of the FAI denying it was him, yet the man himself coming out and saying the opposite!

I must point out that I have no issue with John Delaney singing such a song as “Joe McDonnell”, it is as I said a wonderful song and a song I sing myself regularly.  People who understand the song’s context and history have no problem with him singing it.  The problem was in the false legal threats.  John Delaney slated the “sly” way the snippet was captured.  Yet he was in a public bar near Lansdowne Road a couple of hours after a major international.  It wasn’t exactly private was it?

Fans continued to vent their fury at the CEO’s behaviour and spin and many called for his removal as CEO.  Unfortunately, some posts on YBIG’s forum contained personal abuse aimed at Delaney and his new partner, Emma English.  The posts, once spotted by YBIG moderators, were removed.  The posters were banned and an apology issued to Ms English and an offer of a charity donation also.  It has been reported that neither Ms English nor John Delaney has accepted the apology, regrettable given that 99.9% of YBIG members would not have made such personal comments, nor condoned such comments either.

Delaney went on radio to air his anger at the “cyber bullying” of his new partner and bemoaned the invasion of privacy into his love life and his singing in the Bath Bar.   This from a couple who openly courted publicity in appearing on Irish chat shows and in several publications advertising their happiness.  This from a man who allowed a film crew follow him around for several months to make a documentary about him called “John the Baptist”.  This from a man who goes to football clubs in Ireland for a “Come Dine with Me” night.  This from a man who allows his shoes to be removed by drunken fans and throws ties into the crowd when Ireland gains a massive result.  A very private man indeed.  Anyone know who the partner/wife of IRFU CEO Philip Browne is?  Anyone see him diving into fans when Ireland were winning Grand Slams and Six Nations tournaments?  Anyone remember Philip Browne leading a sing song in a bar near the Stadium?  Did Philip Browne throw a tie into the crowd after Ireland had huge rugby wins over South Africa and Australia recently?  No, didn’t think so.  Type John Delaney and Philip Browne into youtube and see what you come up with.

In another radio interview following the ballad singing controversy, Delaney stated that the cyber-bullying from YBIG members had been ongoing.  This was incorrect.  The personal comments had been removed as quickly as feasibly possible.  Inferences by Delaney towards YBIG and its members were misleading and inaccurate, with those comments allowed to go unchallenged.  Delaney’s subsequent attempts to clean up the legal threat mess had so many holes in it, it resembled the Titanic, something The Guardian and particularly Telegraph were only too happy to dissect and show the statement up for what it was, utter nonsense.  The FAI President, Tony Fitzgerald,  then released a statement regarding the monumental Delaney own goal, which only really led to the Association scoring another one, such was the statement.

As you probably know, I support the domestic game also, attending as many Shamrock Rovers games as I possibly can.  Many selfless, committed and wonderful people go to and volunteer their time for domestic football, from Rovers fans to Bohs, their great rivals.  From Ballybofey to Cobh, from Galway to Wexford, from Sligo to Drogheda.  Despite the efforts of so many wonderful people, John Delaney recently referred to the League of Ireland as the “problem child”.  In the continuing struggle for clubs to get people through their turnstiles, the CEO saw fit to call the League a “problem child”.  Great help that Mr Delaney.  Instead of actually doing something to stamp out the various woes afflicting the domestic game, a shrug of the shoulders to a problem child was his answer.  Marvellous.

I will continue to support the domestic game and contribute to Shamrock Rovers FC as often as I can and I will attend away matches as often as I can to support other League of Ireland clubs.  I will not however, while the current regime remains in place, support the finances of the FAI.  I’m done with the spin, I’m done with the paranoia, I’m done with the misleading of Joe Public, the half truths, the cronyism and bullying.  I didn’t buy a season ticket, but I know of dozens (and probably more) who have, but they won’t be renewing them and will take the same stance as me in boycotting future home games and denying the FAI of money and I would urge others to do likewise.

I will continue to support the eleven men on the park and our team Manager, Martin O’Neill and whoever succeeds Martin when the time comes.  I will (finance allowing) support the team away from home (if I can get a ticket to see the game) and do so with passion, honesty and decency.  Honesty and decency that hasn’t been forthcoming from certain (not all I hasten to add) people in Abbotstown.  I would like to thank those in the FAI (they know who they are) who have become (and hopefully will remain) friends of mine.

Best fans in the world John?  You don’t deserve us.

Come on Ireland.

Phelim Warren, 27th November 2014.