Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland fans to be awarded for behaviour

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo has announced that Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland fans are to be honoured for their "exceptional" behaviour during Euro 2016 by being awarded the Medal of the City of Paris.

The Irish fans were widely praised during the tournament for how they backed their team and for contributing to a positive atmosphere in host cities throughout France.

Videos of their good deeds and good cheer regularly featured in the French media and on social media.

And they will now be officially recognised for their conduct.

Hidalgo announced on Tuesday evening that Ireland's fans will be awarded the medal as a result of having been "exemplary in their sportsmanship" and for "positive" and "joyful" behaviour during their stay in France.

And on Wednesday morning she tweeted that Irish supporters had been "exceptional" during Euro 2016 and that she was "happy" to give them the award.

Hidalgo has written to the Irish president Michael D. Higgins to officially inform him of her decision, while details of a ceremony, during which the award will be presented to the Irish ambassador or a delegation of Irish supporters, will be announced at a later date.

The Medal of the City of Paris has been awarded since 1911 for "remarkable acts."

"They participated in the festive atmosphere that has been prevailing in Paris these last two weeks. They are a model for all the supporters of the world, said deputy mayor for sport and tourism Jean-François Martins of both groups.

"As shown in the numerous videos that circulate on the social networks, the Parisians particularly appreciated meeting them, speaking with them and sharing those joyful moments that are essential in such a great sportive event."

A wide range of cultural and political figures have received it, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic presented with his last month in recognition of his exploits over four seasons with Paris Saint-Germain.

Thousands of Republic of Ireland fans descended on Paris for their opening Euro 2016 game against Sweden, but their involvement in the tournament ended on Sunday in Lyon when they lost 2-1 to France in the round of 16.