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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020
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Reeling in the years: Do you remember the day Ireland qualified for Euro 88?

Join us for a trip down memory lane…

Lawrenson, Brady, McGrath and Houghton celebrate against Bulgaria, but it was Scotland's Gary Mackay who sealed Ireland's place at Euro 88 a month later.
Lawrenson, Brady, McGrath and Houghton celebrate against Bulgaria, but it was Scotland's Gary Mackay who sealed Ireland's place at Euro 88 a month later.
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND fans don’t need us to remind them that it is almost a quarter of a century since Ireland last qualified for the European Championships.

As Trap and the boys look to take the final step against Estonia tomorrow night, we look back to the last time Ireland sealed qualification for the Euros — 11 November 1987.

Back then, our destiny was out of our hands as the nation’s hopes rested on Scotland’s trip to face Bulgaria in Sofia. But how much do you remember about that historic day?

In the papers

  • The funerals of three of the 11 victims killed in the Enniskillen Bombings on Remembrance Sunday take place in Fermanagh.
  • Clare O’Hare, the wife of on-the-run “Border Fox” Dessie O’Hare, is arrested for her part in the kidnapping and ransom of Dublin dentist John O’Grady.
  • Tributes flow following the burial of Eamonn Andrews, the Dublin-born presenter of This is Your Life.
  • Richard Branson enlists the supports of a host of a celebrities for a condom awareness campaign aimed at reducing the spread of AIDS.

In sport

In Sofia, Gary Mackay scores the goal which gives Scotland a 1-0 over Bulgaria and sends Ireland through to the 1988 European Championships.

In music

T’Pau’s ‘China in your Hand’ is the number one single in the UK, overtaking the Bee Gee’s ‘You Win Again’ …

… while in the US, Tiffany tops the charts with ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’.

In cinema

Future Oscar-winning picture The Untouchables was still showing around the country, almost two months after its initial release…

… as was Beverly Hills Cop II which went on to gross approximately $300m worldwide.

Where were you that day?

Not that it’s our intention to make anybody feel old, but current Irish international Shane Long (born 22/01/1987) was still in nappies; midfielder Darron Gibson (25/10/1987) was only a couple of weeks old; and neither Seamus Coleman nor James McCarthy had even been born yet.

Trap rings the changes as Irish look to close the deal against Estonia

In pictures: the happiest Irish training session ever seen in Malahide

Poll: should Giovanni Trapattoni now get a new contract?

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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