SATIRE and the canny use of social media has seen a group of Limerick soccer fans make headlines around the world.
Six University of Limerick graduates posing in Dublin airport with a flag reading ‘Angela Merkel thinks we’re at work’ exploded on Twitter ahead of the Irish soccer match in Poland.
The hashtag #donttellMerkel has been trending across Europe, with footballer Joey Barton, movie star Chris O’Dowd and Phillip Schofield tweeting about it.
The group of UL graduates, currently in Poznan, have been interviewed by media across the globe since they set up the Twitter account ‘Merkel Flag Crew’ to allow people to track their movements and seek tickets for the Irish matches.
“It is absolutely unbelievable,” explained Richie Tuohy from Dromkeen. “That picture was taken in Dublin airport and by the time we landed in Prague it was everywhere, I have never seen anything like it”.
“We hadn’t even planned to bring a flag until one of the lads suggested it and we had to put something on it,” laughed Richie, who is at Euro 2012 with his mates Eoin O’Brien - also Dromkeen - Pallasgreen’s Conor Dwyer, Eoin Cantwell from Thurles, Richie Leahy from Galway and Gerry Nolan and Paul Davis, both from Roscommon, the latter who flew from London and is not pictured above.
“We took the picture ourselves - it was only meant as a joke. Any time we unfurled it on the street we spent about half and hour taking photos. There were loads of Greeks on Twitter who have really taken to it, saying ‘we will stand together’. We are getting messages from all over the world.”
BBC’s Mock the Week have interviewed Gerry, while the entire square in Poznan was chanting ‘Merkel thinks we are working’ before the game against Croatia.
They are remaining upbeat despite the poor result in that game.
“I would love to go into the last game with something to play for but I don’t know if it will happen. The atmosphere will go up again and the crowd will be good so who knows?” added Richie.