THE IRISH SOCCER fan who left his tickets for all three of the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2012 games at Dublin Airport this morning didn’t realise he had lost them until he had landed in Poland.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie this evening as he made his way to the airport to meet his friend Ronan Davis who has the priceless tickets, Damian Coughlan was full of praise for the staff at the airport’s Champion Sports outlet who recovered the tickets.
“I was thinking people wouldn’t do something like that. It’s just so nice of them,” the 23-year-old from Knocklyon in Dublin said. “I’m on the way to the airport now to meet them (his friends). There’s nine of them coming in tonight.”
Asked about the moment when he realised he had lost the tickets, he said: “I was in the cafe at the train station and the brother rang me to say where are the tickets and then I searched my bag and took it apart and said ‘Oh No!’”
The tickets – which were issued in the name of Coughlan’s father, Oliver – were spotted by a staff member at Champions Sports in Dublin airport. Chris Brannigan immediately notified airport security but with no-one forthcoming a web and radio appeal was issued.
Dublin Airport Authority issued an appeal to its 21,500 Twitter followers ensuring the appeal got plenty of attention on Twitter and other social media.
Coughlan added: “Apparently, there was a thing on the RTÉ News at one o’clock saying that the tickets were at the airport and they were in my Dad’s name. I knew they were mine so I just had to get my Dad to get the tickets to a mate.”
Luckily for Coughlan, his friend Ronan Davis as well as other pals were on their way to Poland this evening ahead of Ireland’s opening game against Croatia on Sunday.
Speaking to RTÉ News earlier, Davis and other friends joked that their mate was “some eejit” for misplacing his tickets, saying he would never live the incident down.
Asked what he thought of that, Coughlan burst out laughing: “Ah he’s a legend. He’s bringing the tickets over, he’s a legend!”
With tickets for all three of Ireland’s group games, the 23-year-old said that he’d spend the next few weeks “having the beers and going the matches” hoping that if Ireland progress to the knockout phase “someone might give me tickets!”.
As for the hero-of-the-hour Chris Brannigan, Coughlan promised him “a few pints when I’m back in Dublin”, adding: “Remember, it’s been a rocky road to Poland!”.