With the 2012 Euro Football Championships well and truly behind us now, the inquest into the poor performance of the Republic of Ireland will have already begun, but the players can take some solace from the fact that their wonderful supporters who travelled to watch their games underperformed just as much when it came to driving their campervans!
The Euro 2012 Football Championships could well have been called the campervan games as the iconic vehicles became the vehicle of choice for thousands of fans making the trip to the far reaches of Poland and Ukraine from Western Europe, and in particular Irish fans. Unfortunately, for both the vans and the campervan rental firms who hired out many of the vehicles, the supporters driving skills left as much to be desired as their teams shooting, and dozens of the vans have been returned damaged. Lots of rental firms will now be claiming on their campervan insurance policies and dozens of fans have lost their deposits when returning their vans slightly the worse for wear.
In common with many fans Paul Hallisey made his way to Germany and then hired a campervan for the duration of the games. Paul was just one of two drivers who returned their van intact to one rentals firm in Hamburg. He said: “I personally saw one lad reverse into an electricity pole on arrival at one of the camp sites. I met another group who lost their toilet window on the autobahn; their mates in the camper behind drove over it.” Paul said the manager of the van rental firm had complained that he had rented out over 40 campervans and had only got two back that had not suffered damage, although he did say most of the damage was only minor.
The news of the Irish fans steering problems had travelled before them apparently, with a German TV film crew in Bremen waiting to interview them and making a programme out of their adventures on the way to the games. Unfortunately it wasn’t a happy ending, but the TV programmed did comment on the surprisingly good spirits of the Irish fans considering they had seen their team lose every match and they themselves losing their van rental deposit.