It was a glorious time in more ways than the football. The sun shone for a couple of weeks as if summer would never end. I was a curate in the Aran Island of Inis Meain at the time and the only bailout in sight was the water you would bail out of the bottom of a currach when fishing for mackeral.
A West German film crew stayed three weeks on the island making a documentary on the European periphery. Note that I wrote ‘West’ Germany. The Iron Curtain still stood, or hung, as the case may be, and Angela Merkel was only a slip of a girl.
The relative disappointment at Ireland’s performance in a very difficult group this time masks the fact that The Republic did not get out of their group that other time either.