Ireland players to wear black armbands against Italy
The Football Association of Ireland today (May 17) confirmed that its players will commemorate the 18th anniversary of the 1994 atrocity in Loughinisland, Co Down by wearing black arm bands when they face Italy at EURO 2012 on June 18.
The commemoration will fall exactly 18 years to the day since the tragedy occurred and is particularly poignant because the shootings happened in Loughinisland while the victims were watching Ireland vs Italy during World Cup USA.
UEFA granted permission for the commemoration after the FAI approached them on behalf of the families of the bereaved.
Welcoming the announcement, FAI CEO John Delaney said,
"What happened in Loughinisland in 1994 was an awful tragedy and deeply moving for all football fans. I would like to thank UEFA for assisting us in commemorating this atrocity and take the opportunity to remember all those who lost their lives in the troubles."
Niall Murphy, solicitor acting for the families said,
"The families are touched that this tragic event can be commemorated on such a poignant day, the eighteenth anniversary of the atrocity. We would like to thank the FAI and UEFA for their assistance in providing a forum to recall the awful events that took place on that fateful day when Ireland played Italy in 1994."