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29/07/2021

'Forza Azzurri!' as they say in Muff

'Let's go Italy' say Inishowen's Celeste and Pierce

'Forza Azzurri!' say Pierce and Celeste

'Forza Azzurri!' say Pierce and Celeste

The encouraging cries of 'Forza Azzurri!' will surely be ringing around the Donegal village of Muff tonight as Italy and England battle it out to claim victory in Euro 2020.

No-one will be shouting louder than Celeste (2) and Pierce (6 months), their Inishowen mammy, Grace McConnellogue and daddy, Francisco. Grace, who now lives in Milan, is the daughter of the late Junior McConnellogue, a well known member of the Muff Community. 

Celeste and Pierce's granda, the late Junior McConnellogue

The youngsters have already enjoyed some supporting success as they cheered on their daddy's national team, Argentina, to a 0ne - Nil victory over Brazil in the Copa América, earlier today. Pierce was photographed proudly sporting his Argentina colours.

Speaking to Donegal Live ahead of tonight's Euro 2020 showdown, Grace said the atmosphere in Milan was very lively.

"Everyone is excited and stressed about tonight's match," she said. "Italians are very superstitious in general, so no one really wants to talk about the game. There isn’t much about it in the news here for example.

"The celebrations here on Tuesday were fun. Everyone was out in the streets cheering. Everywhere was totally booked for Tuesday's game [against Spain] and it is the same for Sunday, so we are watching the game in a friend's house. It will be an international get together with our Italians, French, Spanish and American friends.

"The Covid restrictions are light here now; restaurants and bars are open and you only have to wear masks when entering the building or moving around, to go to the bar.

"There are some flags around the city, but since Italians are superstitious we won’t see many until Sunday itself. None of the players are from Milan actually. Things are looking up at the moment, everything is open and  people are out and about. The summer is here and people are going on trips to the seaside or the lakes and planning summer holidays. The Euros are adding some extra joy and something to get excited about! Fingers crossed and ‘Forza Azzurri!!!" said Grace.

Fran and Grace outside the Duomo of Milan

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