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6 Things That Would Have Definitely Happened Had Ireland Co-Hosted Euro 2008

6 Things That Would Have Definitely Happened Had Ireland Co-Hosted Euro 2008
By Conor Neville Updated

Yesterday evening, we brought you the story of Ireland and Scotland's doomed bid for the 2008 European championships, with the help of the bid director, a former Chief Executive, and Irish Times football writer Emmet Malone.

But what if we had won the bid? How different would have been Ireland's sporting landscape? Here is what we found in the other timeline.


With the development of Stadium Ireland going ahead, Lansdowne Road is bought by property developer Liam Carroll. It is knocked to the ground amid little pomp and ceremony in the summer of 2007.

Lansdowne Apartments are built in 2008.


God Save the Queen remains unplayed on Jones's Road as the rugby team take up residence in the Bertie Bowl. There isn't a wet eye in the house as Amhrainn na bhFiann is struck up ahead of the first England game in the new Quinn Insurance Arena.

There is no epic moment of reconciliation. The Queen decides to steer clear and dies without seeing the inside of Croke Park. She never gets to meet Henry Shefflin either.

The Abbotstown residents committee successfully prevent performances from Garth Brooks, Nathan Carter, Michael Flatley and Bruce Springsteen over four successive summers.

People end up feeling nostalgia for the fun loving Croke Park residents committee, who, compared to their more militant Abbotstown equivalent, were always up for a Mardi Gras.


The prospect of being Taoiseach for the upcoming European championships hardens Bertie Ahern's resolve to remain on at least until the summer of '08.

He ends up holding on long enough to be in situ for the collapse of the economy that autumn.

Having missed the chance to get out while the going was good, he is forced to resign while the going is bad.


Brendan Menton remains on as FAI Chief Executive a little longer following the success of the bid. John Delaney has to take a more circuitous route to the top of the association.

But, somewhat inevitably, he gets there in the end.

As soon as he assumes the top job, he bumps off Brian Kerr and appoints Steve Staunton.

Stan leads Ireland out in his first competitive game at Euro 2008 which they lose 5-2 to Croatia.



The private backers of the Quinn Insurance Arena grow restless and frustrated with the lack of regular activity at the ground.

To make up for it, there are an increased number of Dublin Deciders. These now take place every three months.

Numerous Liverpool youngsters end up departing the club having played more times at Abbotstown than at Anfield
The Dublin Dons plan is revived. Denis O'Brien is among the financial supporters of the plan.

Eamon Dunphy is again its biggest media supporter. He launches a staggering attack upon the city of Milton Keynes on RTE calling it 'soulless, cultureless dump with no history' before finishing his rant with the cry 'we're the sexy option, come to Dublin baby!'

Read more: So Close But So Far Away: How Ireland Almost Co-Hosted Euro 2008 (Without A Bloody Stadium)

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