A Victory for Palestine and Palestinian Solidarity in Dublin – VIDEOS

International solidarity friendly between Bohemians and Palestine in Dublin, Ireland, on May 15. (Photo: Fintan Bradshow, Supplied)

By Fintan Bradshow

Even before the teams took to the pitch, chants of ‘Free, free Palestine’, ‘viva, viva Palestina’, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’.

On May 15, to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Nakba and in solidarity with Palestinians, Dublin based, Irish football club Bohemian FC played host to the Palestinian national women’s team.

It also marked the maiden game that the Palestine team had played in Europe. While the venue may have been the home of Bohemian FC it felt like there were only Palestinian supporters to watch their team play in front of a completely sold-out Dalymount Park. All proceeds from the match went to Sport For Life Palestine, Medical Aid For Palestinians, and Aclaí Palestine.

Even before the teams took to the pitch, chants of ‘Free, free Palestine’, ‘viva, viva Palestina’, ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ and ‘In our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians’ could be heard ringing around the stadium. Indeed it felt like a party atmosphere, with music before the game highlighting Irish artists who have supported Palestine.

While the match was a joyous occasion for all those present there was a minutes silence before the match began to acknowledge the solemnity of the occasion, the more than 35,000 who have died in the ongoing genocide in Gaza and the countless others unable to participate in the spectacle of the game due to the continued atrocities right across the occupied territories.

It must be mentioned that among those who could not partake in the occasion included Palestinian team members unable to join the team, highlighting the lack of freedom for Palestinians outside of Palestine, living with the restrictions and bureaucracy of life as a Palestinian in exile.

Palestinian players had to travel from the West Bank through Jordan, and from Israel, Lebanon, Germany, Sweden, the US and Canada in order to be able to play in a game that Bohemian FC organised to ‘highlight the human rights violations in the occupied territories’.

Notwithstanding notable absences to the Palestinian squad, the game was an evenly fought contest until Katie Malone put Bohemian FC ahead in the 54th minute. However, spurred on by a powerful support, Palestine put Bohemian FC under increasing pressure resulting in an own goal by Shauna Carroll in the 64th minute to level the scores at 1-1.

Palestine’s desire to win continued to be encouraged by the entirety of the stadium, waving the Palestinian flags that had been placed on every seat before the game, accompanied by a vociferous crowd led in their chants by young and old alike. 

In the 78th minute Nour Youssef, whose unrelenting spirit, reflecting her nation’s spirit under occupation and tireless running was finally rewarded with the winning goal that meant Palestine beat Bohemian FC 2-1. Indeed, the whole Palestine squad valiantly channelled the emotion of the occasion that motivated them to an historic win.

The jubilant scenes as the final whistle blew continued as the Palestinian squad celebrated the solidarity shown to them by the crowd by celebrating with their raucous supporters in front of every stand. 

The entire game including the ecstatic scenes at the end is available to watch here. An opportunity to relive or experience a sense of joy from the win and a sense of the solidarity shared that night in Dublin.

This was a win not only for the Palestinian women’s team over a team from Dublin, but a win against Palestinian repression and a triumph over adversity for all Palestinian people. For both it is one of many more to come.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Fintan Bradshaw is an Irish-based writer and staff writer at ZNetwork.org. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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