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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 13 December, 2019
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Ireland fans are planning a fifth-minute ovation for Paul O'Connell today

What do you think of the idea? We may have helped it along.

SO THE POST-PAULIE era begins this afternoon.

Ireland will look to make history by reaching the Rugby World Cup last four for the first time as they take on Argentina in Cardiff.

As well as robbing Joe Schmidt’s squad of their captain and talisman, that horrific-sounding injury sustained against France last weekend, neglected Irish rugby fans of a chance to bid farewell to our greatest ever forward.

During the week as we all realised it was the end of the road for the Toulon-bound second row with Ireland, one reader wrote to us:

“Would The42 consider starting a campaign to recognise Paul O’Connell’s effective retirement from rugby, for example,  a sustained round of applause for him in the fifth minute of the game? Would be good to be able to acknowledge his career in some way after confirmation of its end.”

We soon threw it out to the world on Facebook and Twitter… and to say it took off would be understating it:

pauli345

The above post reached almost half a million people and was liked over 18,000 times.

The IRFU retweeted it and the likes of Balls.ie and others rowed in behind the idea:

Tweet by @Balls.ie Source: Balls.ie/Twitter

Thousands more amplified the message while George Hook and his Newstalk guests discussed when the fifth minute actually starts — it’s 4.01 in, obviously.

Some online, of course, legitimately expressed their dislike of the idea because, amongst other reasons:

  • We should honour him by winning the tournament 
  • It’s like something ‘out of soccer’
  • The Pumas will score when the team are distracted by the applause
  • He’s not dead
  • It’s just a bit mawkish

Nevertheless, this reader’s idea seems to have gained massive momentum as it taps into the Irish fans’ desire to mark Paul O’Connell’s exit from their lives.

Who knows if the idea will actually be executed today but more importantly, hopefully O’Connell will resume his career as an Irish fan with a big victory.

What do you think? 

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