Ireland have now equalled the worst series of results of any team to ever grace the European Football Championships.
The oldest team in the tournament did not prove to be wise in any form as they squandered chance after chance and conceded nine goals.
The squad looked rigid, old and out of touch with the pace and ability of Europe's pedigree footballing nations. Former Irish captain Roy Keane, a man who rarely shies away from a harsh word said "I'm sick of this 'win, lose, we're on the booze' mentality".
The Irish fans were lauded by Fabrice Muamba and Michael Owen as well as other high profile sports men for their dedication and passion to a team who gave them nothing to cheer about on the field.
The estimated 40,000 fans who made the 1900km journey from Dublin to Poznan must now face up to returning to a nation on its knees. The unemployment rate is hitting 14.3% with the ESRI predicting it will hit 14.9% by the end of the year as thousands of young Irish graduates emigrate to Australia, Canada and the US monthly. The last four weeks in Poland and Ukraine has done a lot of good to raise the spirits of Europe's economically suffering nations and take away the negativity and misery from the news headlines.
As Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal progress further and further in the competition they possess the ability raise the levels of temporary joy for their nation's fans. With Europe's economic woes looking to deepen, it seems as though football will act as the band-aid to cover up the cuts and wounds that millions of Europeans will eventually have to face up to.
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