Giovanni Trapattoni's side face Italy in their final pool game on 18 June. ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Ireland to mark Loughinisland massacre with black armbands in Italy game

The match comes 18 years to the day sine six men were killed while watching the two countries play.

IRELAND’s EURO 2012 side have been given permission by European football chiefs to wear black armbands during their game with Italy in Poland next month.

The match against the Azzurri in Poznan on 18 June will mark 18 years exactly since six Catholic men were shot dead while watching Ireland beat Italy at USA ’94, in a pub in Loughinisland, Co Down.

Members of the UVF opened fire indiscriminately inside the Heights Bar during the famous Ray Houghton-inspired win at Giants Stadium.

“What happened in Loughinisland in 1994 was an awful tragedy and deeply moving for all football fans,” FAI chief, John Delaney said. “I would like to thank UEFA for assisting us in commemorating this atrocity and take the opportunity to remember all those who lost their lives in the Troubles.”

No one has been convicted of the killings.

Niall Murphy, solicitor for the families, said the relatives were moved by the gesture.

“We would like to thank the FAI and UEFA for their assistance in providing a forum to recall the awful event that took place on that fateful day when Ireland played Italy,” he said.

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