The Republic of Ireland’s convincing Euro 2012 play-off victory over Estonia last Friday, coinciding with the inauguration of our new President, proved a great national morale booster.
That Munster kept the feel-good factor going on Saturday with a remarkable last gasp win over Northampton encapsulated the level of Irish pride and resolve which Michael D Higgins referenced at Dublin Castle.
That our soccer team has finally returned to the European Championship Finals for the first time in 24 years is a welcome development. Under Jack Charlton, the Boys in Green lifted the hearts of a county beset by economic difficulties.
In 2011, with the economy again in turmoil, our soccer team have put smiles across the faces of even those with a passing interest in the ‘beautiful game’.
And as was the case in Euro ’88, Italia ’90 and USA ’94, expect many soccer fans from Waterford to make the trip to Poland and Ukraine next summer.