Watching Ireland Play in Euro 2012 Soccer

The Steppes Bar, Callan, County Kilkenny

To experience my first European championship soccer match I wanted to go to The Steppes Bar in Callan, known for an amazing atmosphere and two drop down big screens. It’s about a 15 mile trip which took me a little over an hour on my bike. It was well worth the trip despite being chased by three dogs (and nearly caught by one.) At that moment I had been stuck in first gear, but I peddled like a mad man and made it away safely. I had read Tom Coyne’s “A Course Called Ireland” and his similar story about a dog encounter had instantly popped into my mind, so I can’t say I wasn’t forewarned.

The Steppes Owner and Bartender Eddie Kelly in full support of Team Ireland

I arrived about an hour early and caught the end of the Spain vs. Italy game. Fans were already flooding the pub, all dressed in green jerseys, and the official Euro 2012 Republic of Ireland song, Rocky Road To Poland was being played every time the coverage of the match cut away. When the match started the Steppes was packed shoulder to shoulder and even standing room was hard to find. Unfortunately Ireland lost 1-3 to Croatia, but I still had a great time participating along with the rest of the country in a local pub.

Because of pouring rain I will be watching tonight’s match against Spain from my house. At least I won’t have to worry about dog attacks. I can’t wait for the next sporting event I’ll get to catch at The Steppes Bar.


Ireland had another rough match on Thursday as they fell to Spain, 4-0, making it impossible for them to advance past group play. However there is still a chance to spoil Italy’s tournament with a win Monday night. It should be a good match, Ireland hasn’t lost to Italy in the last three meetings and I know they will want to return home with three points.

3 Responses to Watching Ireland Play in Euro 2012 Soccer

  • Alan FitzGerald says:

    glad to see you’re enjoying my old haunting ground, although I always tried to stay out of Callan….. Long story that involved a wheelbarrow….. Firstly I’d like to clear up one thing – that wasn’t really soccer – you need two teams to show up, which Ireland didn’t really do:)

    I clearly remember back to early 90s when Ireland actually had a real soccer team and being packed in to Malzards in Stoney (could walk there from the house – very important!) or on the big nights in KK or Thomastown. They were a lot of fun

    I know you’ll have a blast with Aidan, Robbie and the crew and learn a lot, they certainly got me started on the right foot. I’ll be checking in here regularly to see how you’re doing. Have a great summer and enjoy every second of it


  • Erica Cooper says:

    Hi Cam! Great update! Glad you made it to the bar without any dog bites.

  • Kathy Lengel ( Carl Lengels mom..Hartwick Lax) says:

    Hey Cam,
    We are headed to Ireland this upcoming friday night. Will arrive am..6/30. We will be in Kilkenny with the tour we are on..on sun 7/1. Can’t wait to see this beautiful country you’ve been in. Maybe we can hear some of those stories in person? Give me a shout on my email and maybe we can figure something out. You make working on a golf course sound awesome!!

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