Superfan Jamie Monaghan accepts prestigious French award on behalf of Irish supporters

The prestigious ‘Médaille de la Ville de Paris has been officially awarded to Irish soccer fans for their ‘exemplary behaviour during the Euro 2016 tournament in France.

The medal has been awarded for sportsmanship at a global event.

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo presented the award to Irish fan Jamie Monaghan from Togher, Co Louth at a ceremony at the Fanzone in Paris this evening.

The award was simultaneously presented to the Northern Ireland supporters at the ceremony, which was also attended by the Irish Ambassador to France Geraldine Byrne Nason, ahead of the EURO 2016 semi-final match between France and Germany.

Jamie's father, Philip Monaghan, described the award as a "huge honour" and said that it's been the greatest experience of Jamie's life to accept the award on the Irish supporters' behalf.

Philip said: "This has been a huge honour bestowed on Jamie, and of course for our family.

"Ever since John Delaney asked him to represent the supporters at the reception, Jamie has been so excited and tonight has been one of the greatest experiences in his life."

Chairman of the Confederation of Republic of Ireland Supporters Clubs, Joe McKenna said: "I'm so proud to be here with Jamie and Philip, as well as the Irish Ambassador to Paris to represent all of the many great supporters of the Republic of Ireland national team.

"This honour proves that we are amongst the best in the world."

FAI CEO John Delaney said: "I was delighted to see our fantastic supporters receive this great honour from Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

"Our supporters are the greatest ambassadors our country could have and just like our new generation of footballing heroes, we're extremely proud of them.

"It was also great to see Jamie Monaghan collect this award on behalf of all of our supporters and I include the late James Nolan, who sadly passed away during EURO 2012.

"It is fitting too that we remember the two Northern Ireland supporters - Darren Rodgers and Robert Rainey - who died during EURO 2016.”

Junior Sports Minister Patrick O' Donovan said it is a great honour.

"It's a fantastic honour for all Irish fans who travelled to France for Euro 16," he said.

"I think it's fair to say that, based on the reports that I received from the Irish ambassador to France, Geraldine Byrne Nason, and from the French authorities out there as well that our fans were ‘exemplary ambassadors, not only for the sport, but for the country."

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