Ireland fans awarded medal for sportsmanship by Paris mayor

Republic of Ireland fans have been recognized for their sportsmanship at Euro 2016 by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has announced she will award them the Grand Vermeil, or Medal of the City of Paris.

At a stage of the football tournament when trouble involving Russian, English, German and Ukrainian fans was threatening to overshadow the events on the field, the Irish supporters brought some much-needed levity to proceedings.

Their joint rendition - with the help of the Swedes - of ABBA's Dancing Queen on the streets of Paris went viral, as did pictures of Irish fans stopping to help an elderly French couple change the tyre on their car.

Now their general good humour and positive support for their team will be rewarded by Hidalgo, who tweeted they had been "exceptional" and said they were "exemplary in their sportsmanship".

The mayor has written to Irish President Michael D Higgins to inform him of the award of the Grand Vermeil, the highest honour the city can bestow.

It is not yet known when the medal ceremony will take place, but the Irish will certainly be in good company: previous winners include tennis star Rafael Nadal, groundbreaking jazz musician Herbie Hancock and Toni Morrison, who won the Nobel Prize for literature.

Ireland were knocked out in the last 16 of Euro 2016 by hosts France.

Last update: Wed, 29/06/2016 - 16:02

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