Northern Ireland

Euro 2016: French air traffic controllers' strike shatters NI fan's dream

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Media captionStephen Snoddy says he feels 'sick as a parrot' over missing NI match due to a strike

A Northern Ireland fan looks set to have his Euro 2016 dream shattered, as well as being left up to £1,000 out of pocket, due to a strike by French air traffic controllers.

The strike has caused several flights between the Republic of Ireland and France to be cancelled on Tuesday.

Stephen Snoddy received a text on Monday night telling him his Dublin to Bordeaux flight had been cancelled.

The Larne man has tickets for NI's two remaining Euro 2016 group games.

The Green and White Army is due to play Ukraine on Thursday night and Germany next Tuesday.

Mr Snoddy said the airline told him he could either get a refund or try to reschedule his flights.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Ryanair and Aer Lingus flights have been cancelled due to the strike

"There's no chance of getting a rescheduled flight because the Republic's playing in Bordeaux at the weekend and flights are massively booked," he said.

"I was looking round this morning to try and get alternative flights and you're talking crazy money, up maybe £900. So I think we're maybe going to be watching it on TV."

He estimated he could be out £800 to £1,000 once flights, tickets, internal travel and accommodation are accounted for.

"I've got the tickets for the games, we've got the apartment booked with my friends, I've got internal travel all paid for and arranged and I'm just really hoping that my travel insurance will cover what I'm out of pocket," he said

"But the enjoyment that you're missing, you can't compensate for that."

Asked how he felt about it, he drew on an established footballing cliché.

"The old football saying is that I'm sick as a parrot," he said

"Just disgusted and demoralised. It's so bad I'm thinking of going back to work tomorrow."

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