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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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A French man's open letter to Irish fans before Sunday's match is just lovely

“Even with your belly sticking over your shirt, you have class.”

Italy v Republic of Ireland - UEFA Euro 2016 - Group E - Stade Pierre Mauroy Source: Michel Spingler

WE WERE ALREADY aware that the French media has been lavishing praise on the Irish fans good-deeding their way around the country for the Euros.

But one French man’s Facebook post has distilled that sentiment into one open letter to the Irish fans that has gone super viral.

Author Olivier Sauton’s endearing letter was written yesterday and has already been shared over 9000 times

Italy v Republic of Ireland - UEFA Euro 2016 - Group E - Stade Pierre Mauroy Source: Chris Radburn

He began:

Sunday your country will face mine in the knockout stages of Euro 2016. Well you know what? If my country wins or yours, I’ll be happy. And I will celebrate. As If my blood is French, my heart, thanks to you and your comrades, is increasingly Irish.

Once it started getting popular in France, Celine Venet Le Riche translated it into English so we could have a gawk.

Olivier continued:

Dear Irish supporter, you shall never measure how much good are you doing to our country. Before your arrival, here we kept to yell, people went on strike, they broke the shops and pounding it. We spoke only of hatred, discord and disgusting lawns of our stadiums. Since you’re here, Irish friend, we speak only of generosity, brotherhood and good atmosphere that you put in the stands.

Italy v Republic of Ireland - UEFA Euro 2016 - Group E - Stade Pierre Mauroy Source: John Walton

The whole of France has fallen under our charms, apparently:

You do honour to your country, your people, to your ancestors. Even drunk, you’re a gentleman. Even with your belly sticking over your shirt, you have class. Even defeated, you’re in good spirits. I love you, the Irish, and I think I am telling the truth when I say the whole France that has fallen under your charm.

He referenced 2009 and that Thierry Henry incident:

At the time, despite the joy of qualifying, many French were ashamed because we agree the game was won, but at the same time we also lost our pride… You, you were sad but left with no violence, and you’re back in our country without seeking revenge.

Italy v Republic of Ireland - UEFA Euro 2016 - Group E - Stade Pierre Mauroy Source: Chris Radburn

And he finished on a glorious note:

Waiting for the game, I will inquire about obtaining the Celtic nationality. I am even ready to learn your fucking incomprehensible accent. I start this post on social networks as launching a bottle into the sea: I hope it will reach up to you. If a good soul could translate it, it will have my eternal gratitude because my English isn’t good enough.
Have a good game, Irish brother. You can be proud. Because the Euro is not over and yet you’ve already won.

<3

Read the full, wonderful letter here.

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More The Irish embassy in Lille handed out Tayto and Strepsils to fans in need>

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About the author:

David Elkin

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