This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 11 °C Friday 15 February, 2019
Advertisement

'Congratulations also to your wonderful football team' - Mandela part of Italia 90 homecoming

Mandela’s visit coincided with the Irish team’s official homecoming parade.

Updated at 20.00

ALMOST HALF A million people flooded the streets of the capital to welcome the Irish football team home from the World Cup but 1 July 1990 was a significant day for an another reason too.

Politics - South Africa - Nelson Mandela - Dublin Nelson Mandela meets Irish President Dr Patrick Hillery at his residence in the Phoenix Park. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

As Jack Charlton’s side – who had reached the quarter-finals at Italia 90 – paraded through Dublin, Nelson Mandela arrived in Ireland – just months after he’d been released from prison.

The future South Africa president came to these shores to accept the freedom of Dublin two years after being awarded it in absentia.

As it happened, both Mandela and Jackie’s Army were touching down within hours of each other with Dublin airport crammed with football fans and Mandela’s well-wishers.

During his speech at the Mansion House, Mandela famously made reference to the Irish football team.

mandela-mansion-house-speech-electionlit-413x500 Source: Irish Election Literature.

italia90bannerfinal

Click here for more of The42’s commemorative coverage >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next:

COMMENTS (1)