Irish President hails 'stunning' Cyprus

October 9, 2006

NICOSIA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Irish President Mary McAleese has praised Cyprus for their shock 5-2 thrashing of Ireland in Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier, saying the home side outclassed her country.

'I thought you were brilliant, absolutely stunning,' she said in response to a question from a Cypriot journalist after talks in Nicosia with president Tassos Papadopoulos.

'I think I am right in saying not in living memory have we been defeated so comprehensively,' added McAleese, who attended the match.

It was probably Cyprus's most impressive victory since they started playing competitive soccer in 1960 and was Ireland's worst defeat since a 6-0 loss to Austria in 1971.

McAleese was less than complementary about the Irish performance. 'Well it wasn't great was it now,' she said. 'We were outclassed. You were two-and-a-half times better than us.'