Ah defeat, our old friend. This evening, we mourn the end of another Irish campaign in a major tournament. This rollercoaster ride was different from other tournaments but the end position is exactly the same. The bitter taste of grim finality and crushed dreams. Thankfully, it's a temporary feeling. Ireland's past experience in international tournaments tells us we can suffer now but (foolishly) we will dream again. There is comfort in hope.
But for a very young generation of Irish fans, today is the first taste of horrible defeat. Look across social media this evening and you will see plenty of very sad young Ireland fans. Their sad faces speak for the whole nation.
I first noticed the trend when Marie Bennett posted a photo of her sad daughter in our Facebook group.
And then Nicola Breen posted this photo of her son in the comments
And then I realised that all around the world there were sad young Ireland fans, crying for their team.
— Ed Carty (@EdCartyPA) June 26, 2016
No photos, please. I'm too sad.
Poor Buster, indeed.
This lad is as shocked as the rest of us that France scored twice in three minutes.
— Claire Mel (@clairefromderry) June 26, 2016
And just for good measure, a shoutout to all the sad Irish dogs out there today.
But at the end of the day, there's more to life than football, as these young Irish fans will know.
This picture sums it up for me a heartbroken little man & his Daddy who's his hero. Proud to be Irish.🍀🇮🇪⚽️ pic.twitter.com/LPhMeWrJp7
— Claudine Keane (@ClaudineKeane1) June 26, 2016