It was a case of ‘Stand Up for the People of Ukraine’ as much as ‘Come on You Boys in Green’ when the Derry supporters found a group of women and children fleeing the war were sharing their hotel.
Jim Barr, president of the local supporters’ club, explained: “We had about 170 people going down and around 54 rooms in the hotel we would normally stay in.
“While we were down we noticed the hotel was really, really busy.
“So I was chatting to one of the general managers who I always deal with and he said, ‘Jim, you know we have the top floor for a group of refugees from Ukraine who came in at half three this morning’.”
Jim was told that two and a half bus loads of refugees had arrived in the middle of the night.
“There were a couple of elderly women but it was mostly mothers with their children,” Jim told the ‘Journal’.
“It clicked with me, along with my son James and ourSecretary John Kelly. We thought what can we do?
“We had had a whip-round on the way down which was to pay for the bus and that had raised about £200.
“Then with other donations that sum grew to over £600. Three of us went up into the heart of Dublin and bought all the clothes for the wains. We brought it all down and gave it in to the management and they were over the moon about it.”
Jim and some of the other supporters were introduced to some of the refugees.
“Before we left we met two of the boss women of the whole party as I would call them.
“The hotel management introduced them. They couldn’t speak English very well which is understandable.”
The club is now using its position as a member of the Confederation of Republic of Ireland Supporters’ Clubs to organise further donations.
“We said we would start something when we got back. We’ve a big enough club with members and affiliates all around Ireland so we’ve asked them for donations - particularly for the young wains.”
Man of the match Jim!