A thousand Irish football fans will come to Ghent on Thursday for the match between KAA Gent and the Shamrock Rovers from Dublin. The match will be played at 6.45pm at the Ghelamco Arena, but Irish fans were in town well in advance to warm up. And where else would they gather but at… the Irish pubs?
In the unlikely event that the Shamrock Rovers defeat Ghent tonight, one of the Irish fans’ players will be given a green jacket and put it on on the pitch. That vest, with the signatures of all players who won the Irish Cup in 2019, belongs to Mic McCarthy (72), the father of the supporters. “I have been a supporter for 66 years and go to all matches, at home and abroad. I had never been to Ghent, but it is a beauty of a city.” (read more below photo)
Mic was not the only one who turned the Irish pub ‘Patrick Foley’s’ into a real Irish pub. Also present: 9-year-old Reilly Saul. For his parents it is not a question of if, but when he will play in the first team of the Rovers. “I already went to the graffiti street today and wrote Shamrock Rover there. Now we are immortalized in Ghent. And tonight we’re going to win. I think with 1-2.” (read more below photo)
And yes, the beer flowed freely. Bill O’Cleirigh (31) and Dennis Hunter (37) estimated that by tonight they would be twelve pints, of almost half a liter, will drink. “At 4.5 euros, it is a lot cheaper than the 6.5 euros with us. We have already gone to see the Castle of the Counts, much more beautiful than our castles. We will come back with our girlfriends for a romantic weekend. We are happy with a draw. Whatever it is, the Rovers are a fantastic team. We have beautiful songs about the past and present and everyone is very close.”
READ ALSO. 1,000 Irish in the Ghelamco Arena, but only 400 Buffalos in Dublin: how is that possible?