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Northern Ireland fans ignore French beaches for snow of Mont Blanc

Published 17/06/2016

From left to right, Jonny Irwin, Gary Dempster, Kenny Armstrong, Gary McKeown and Nigel McKeown posing for a photo on Mont Blanc (Alex Garrett/PA)
From left to right, Jonny Irwin, Gary Dempster, Kenny Armstrong, Gary McKeown and Nigel McKeown posing for a photo on Mont Blanc (Alex Garrett/PA)

A group of intrepid Northern Ireland supporters swapped the sun-kissed beaches of the French Riviera for the highest mountain in the Alps.

The five Ballymena friends took a cable car up Mont Blanc en route from Nice to Lyon.

They braved snow at the formidable peak - and were rewarded with spectacular views when the weather lifted.

Jonny Irwin said: "Suddenly it just cleared and the view was absolutely tremendous. It was a beautiful place.

"Everybody else was lying on the beach and we wanted to do something a bit different."

He said somebody died the day before gliding off the mountain.

They arrived at the top following a knee-trembling climb in a near-blizzard.

But the weather changed and Mr Irwin declared: "It was a fantastic experience."

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