The story of Ireland’s history in football is a rich one and as part of the build-up to the Euro 2020 Finals, it is being told around the country.
Former Republic of Ireland international Ray Houghton, who plays a big part in that history with his World Cup goal against Italy in New Jersey in 1994, believes that parents should bring their children to the National Football Exhibition, when it opens this weekend in Printworks, Dublin Castle, to inspire the next generation.
In order to promote the UEFA European Championships coming to Dublin in 2020 – with four games set to be played at Aviva Stadium – the Football Association of Ireland, Dublin City Council and The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport have joined forces to create a National Football Exhibition.
The Exhibition will open to the public on the day of the Qualifying Draw for UEFA EURO 2020 this Sunday, December 2, and it will remain open until December 9, before travelling to seven different venues around Ireland throughout 2019 and 2020 and then returning to Dublin for the tournament.
Houghton, who played and scored in Ireland’s first-ever appearance at the European Championships in 1988, is excited about the Exhibition giving free access to anyone interested in learning about 60 years of the tournament, reliving some golden Irish footballing memories, discovering rare memorabilia, programmes, jerseys & artefacts, and having fun with the interactive stations and a photo booth.
“For parents, I think it’s hugely important to take your children in and give them an insight into what European Football is about – and also the achievements of the Irish team,” said Houghton.
“From 1988 qualification, going over to Germany and the highs of beating England. Overall, we are going to take the Exhibition to seven venues around the country and there should be a real sense of celebration about Euro 2020 Coming to Dublin.
“I think it’s brilliant and we really need to do this and showcase this as best as we can, because we need to bring through the next generation of Irish players.”
The Exhibition is made up of six zones, with each zone designed to give you an overview of the various different aspects of football in Ireland, the impact this has around the country, some of our favourite and most memorable National and International moments and a look at some of the most iconic moments over the last 60 years of the Euros. The zones will be made up of memorabilia displays and interactive stations with videos, quizzes and an opportunity to step up to the microphone and record your own commentary.
The Exhibition is part of an overall programme of events which we will cover in detail over the coming days but which also includes street Games and what we believe will be a spectacular lighting display on the Samuel Becket Bridge.
The draw for Euro 2020’s Qualifying Groups takes place in Dublin this Sunday at the Convention Centre on Spencer Dock