Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 9°C Monday 10 May 2021

11 steps of Ireland's tournament experience (as portrayed in The Van)

Bimbo and his burgers can tell you a lot about our footballing heritage.

COLLABORATIONS WORK — LIKE Holland and Ireland carving up the points and playing out their crucial 1-1 draw at Italia ’90. Everyone’s a winner!  

That’s why we’ve teamed up with LovinDublin to create a handy go-to guide for the Euros – helping you make the most of this month’s footballing feast.

WHETHER IT WAS that one time we got to the quarter-finals, or the other occasions we’ve crashed out of the group, there are certain stages that characterise Ireland’s epic journeys through major tournaments.

Even if we don’t have the best equipment, there’s never any shortage of optimism

‘The footballs and gear haven’t arrived, Roy, but we’re going to have a BBQ.’ Be grand.


Even if a lot of it isn’t based on the soundest info

dave oleary

We all have a route to the final planned months in advance

The great Bimbo once said: ‘The more I look at it, the more I think we’re after getting a bargain.’ And that’s how we all feel looking at the group fixtures ahead, but then there’s a bit of a rude awakening at some stage in the opening game.


There’ll always be at least one moment of unbridled joy

Robbie scoring the last minute against the Germans, Sean ‘The Saint’ St Ledger bundling an equaliser past the Croatian keeper or, yes, Ray Houghton sticking the ball in the English net. There’s usually at least one moment that send the place wild.


Usually followed by an age of unbearable tension

Einstein wrote his Theory of Relativity about the clock slowing down when Ireland go a goal up and then immediately invite wave after wave of attack on to the defence.




We all look great when we’re sunburned and hungry

Sitting on a wall outside your local, after another scoreless draw, with a bag of chips in your lap beats a chef’s table dining experience in a top Michelen star restaurant, if you ask us.


Though things are going great, certain… erm, quality issues begin to arise

Wim Jonk, Toto Schillachi, Gaizka Mendieta… there’s usually a villain to put a spanner in the works.


And the cabin fever can deepen cracks in any relationship

Particularity if you’re on the road in Europe in a van of your own.


We won’t go down without a fight, more like a blaze of glory


And we all end up seriously needing a hug


They say two heads are better than one…

That’s why we’ve teamed up with our pals at lifestyle website LovinDublin to create LovinThe42 – a place where football and culture meet, and your go-to guide to eating, sleeping and breathing all this summer’s football action.

It’s also why the head distiller of Jameson and the head brewer of Cork’s Franciscan Well Brewery came together to create Jameson Caskmates: a whiskey that’s been finished in stout-seasoned casks. With a triple-distilled smoothness that’s very much intact, notes of cocoa, coffee and butterscotch confirm the stout influence.

Sponsored by:

Read next: