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West Belfast street where flags of Europe find a welcome home

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 03/06/2016

Residents of Iris Drive are flying the flags for the Euro 2016 tournament
Residents of Iris Drive are flying the flags for the Euro 2016 tournament

Belfast is used to emblems being divisive, but in the west of the city the flags of England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales are flying proudly from houses in one of its streets.

That is because the residents of Iris Drive, off the Springfield Road, have been gripped by football fever ahead of Euro 2016 starting in France - and there is cash and a party riding on the outcome.

Following a similar project during the last World Cup, Sandy and Jackie Turley organised a Euros sweepstake for their neighbours.

Each house involved has the flag of its allotted team flying from the house.

The money they have all chipped in will go to those who drew the winning teams and to fund a big street party for local children.

Those with France, Germany and other frontrunners have cause for celebration and there has been some good-natured teasing of neighbours who drew the teams attracting odds of 500/1 at the bookmakers.

Jackie said: "It was such a big success during the World Cup that we decided to do it again. Our neighbour picked Germany for us. There is no difference being made. It is not about the political end of it.

"There has been a wee bit of slagging, but you can see there's a St George's cross and there's the Northern Ireland flag up the street. It's about fun and community."

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