In High Germany

by Dermot Bolger

About the Play


The Author about the Play

After our successful production of The Holy Ground two years ago, this is our second production of a play by Dublin playwright, novelist, poet, editor and publisher Dermot Bolger. Now in its fifteenth year, the Tübingen Anglo-Irish Theatre Group has produced over 60 Irish plays, old and new - but it has always been a particular thrill to be associated with new writers and their work.

In High Germany is a piece, premiered in Dublin in 1990, which is set during the 1988 European Football Championships in Germany.

Eoin is a Dubliner who now lives in Hamburg, but who has played football and followed the fortunes of the Irish team long before it became fashionable in the wave of football-fever caused by the success of "Jack's Army".
Dreams came true when the Irish team not only make it to the Finals, but in their first match, Stuttgart, 12 June 1988, beat England 1:0, the first victory over the "motherland of football" since the late forties. I was in Stuttgart for that memorable occasion. 12,000 Irish supporters, 8,000 English fans, a great atmosphere, and the thrilling moment when Ray Houghton scored after 6 minutes. The nerve-wrecking rest of the game, England attacking, Ireland defending and clinging on to that totally unexpected victory.

The rest is history: Italy in 1990 and the US in 1994 would be the next stages for Jack and the lads.

In 1990, I was traveling in Ireland during the World Cup, and saw Germany beat Argentina on a big screen in Adare. It was amazing to note how soccer had by now found its way to the hearths and hearts of local pubs and local folk all over Ireland; even in remotest Donegal the icons of "the boys in green" were displayed prominently above bar counters and in shop windows. Even in Belfast's Shankill Road, it was reported, hard Unionist attitudes softened somewhat towards the Irish team.