Irish father of three goes AWOL for four days... ends up at the Euros
The wife of fanatical Irish supporter John Dowling hasn’t heard from him in four days and she’s in for some surprise when she opens up the Irish Daily Star this morning.
Dowling left his home in Sandyford on Sunday and unbeknownst to what we can only imagine is his long suffering wife, he headed off to Budapest to watch the Boys in Green play Hungary and isn’t planning on coming home until Ireland’s Euro odyssey comes to an end.
It mightn’t have been so bad if John had rang the missus on Sunday night and told her he was planning to extend his stay, but he instead decided to inform her of his plans four days later… via the front page of a national newspaper.
We’ll let the man himself take up the story…
“I said goodbye to the wife Adrienne and said ‘I’m off’ – but I didn’t tell her where!” John told the Irish Daily Star.
“I’m afraid to ring her. She still doesn’t know I went to Budapest, but she’ll find out (today) in the Star. I might switch my phone off. She knew I had to go to the Euros.”
After taking in the game in Budapest, the soon to be divorced 49-year old – whose three kids are probably wondering where their Daddy is – hopped on a flight to Berlin on Tuesday morning and then took a train to Poznan.
He’s got tickets to all the group games and if Ireland do manage to negotiate what is an incredibly difficult group, he’s going to stay on for the knockout stages. Sure once you’ve gone that far, you might as well keep going.
“I haven’t missed a game in two campaigns,” John added.
“I have tickets all the way to the final, so that’s the three group games, the quarter-final, the semi, and the final.
“The Spanish game ticket cost €150, which is dearer than the combined price of €135 for the quarter, semi and final tickets – I’ve spent €1,100 on flights, hotel and tickets.”
Obviously a man who’s not afraid to act on impulse and not the most spendthrift of individuals, John also splashed out a whopping €260 on a giant Irish flag which is adorned with the line ‘I’ll be getting a plane to Dublin or Ukraine on June 21 – but Mr Visa will have to pay.’
That move subsequently backfired, however, as the flag became so wet and heavy after the Hungary game on Monday night that John’s mate Aidan Mullen had to fork out €50 in baggage fees to bring it to Poland.
There’s no doubt that John is living the dream of many an Irishman and that there are hundreds of husbands across the country that wish they could have had the balls to do something similar.
He should enjoy it while it lasts, however, because his bags will be packed by the time he gets home and with all due respect to his missus, hopefully that’s not for a few weeks yet.