The Mediterranean island of Sicily will be home for the Republic of Ireland team and supporters during the World Cup.
Sicily the is home of the Godfather movies and Al Pacino is currently on the island for production of the third film in the series. The perception is often that Palermo is a dangerous place. Locals here consider the Irish to be the Sicilians of the far north which bodes well for the many supporters that will flock to the island during the World Cup Finals..
The Irish are the Sicilians of the far north.
Sicily will be the main base for the Irish during the World Cup finals. The Republic of Ireland team will take over a 53 bedroom hotel situated near the airport in Palermo overlooking the sea. The team will train in a small town ten minutes from their hotel called Terrasini. Locals in the town are putting on a special Sicilian welcome for the Irish with the Irish flag occupying a prominent position in the town square.
Eight hundred Irish supporters, including player’s families and VIPs will be located in a resort called Citta del Mare about a half an hour drive from Palermo. Owned by a communist cooperative, the resort can accommodate up to three thousand guests at any one time. Other supporters will stay in other nearby resorts which are preparing for the arrival of Irish supporters.
We estimate six thousand Irish fans will travel to the World Cup on package tours.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 9 May 1990. The reporter is Tommie Gorman. This was the second of a series of reports from Italy ahead of the World Cup Finals.