President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald were both in attendance as League of Ireland club Bohemians hosted the Palestine women's team in a historic friendly in Dublin on Wednesday. 

The friendly, played in front of a sell-out crowd at Bohemians' home ground Dalymount Park on Wednesday night, was the Palestine team's first-ever game in Europe. 

Palestine won Wednesday's emotional friendly 2-1, which took place on Nakba Day, an annual commemoration of the forced displacement of Palestinians following the foundation of Israel.

However, the result had little to do with Wednesday's historic friendly, which offered people an opportunity to show solidarity with Palestine during the ongoing conflict in Gaza. 

The 4,290  people were in attendance, with many people waving Palestinian flags, displaying homemade signs with messages of solidarity for Palestine, or wearing traditional Palestinian keffiyehs. 

Irish Palestinian artist Roisin El Cherif sang the Fedayeen Warrior- the national anthem of Palestine - while Radie Peat of Irish folk group Lankum gave a rousing rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann. 

A minute's silence also took place before kickoff to remember all of those who have died as a result of Israeli's occupation and violence in Gaza. 

Bohs had the better of the early exchanges when the match eventually kicked off amid an impassioned atmosphere, with the sold-out crowd cheering on the Palestinian team at every opportunity. 

This may have nominally been a home game for Bohemains, but it did not feel like it, such was the level of support from the Dalymount faithful. 

The first half ended goalless, with both sides enjoying bright spells and spurning chances in front of goal, but the crowd greeted the halftime whistle with a roar befitting of the game's opening goal. 

Irish singer Mary Black performed a stirring rendition of "No Frontiers" during the interval, stepping in at the last minute in place of Christy Moore, who was forced to withdraw from the event. 

Palestine v Bohs 🇵🇸🤝🇮🇪 ❤️

— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) May 15, 2024

Bohs took the lead shortly after the break through Katie Malone, sparking a pre-planned celebration among the home team, who huddled together to display a Palestinian t-shirt. 

Palestine, however, responded quickly through an own goal from Shauna Carroll and completed the turnaround with 12 minutes remaining through Union Berlin striker Nour Youseff, sparking wild celebrations among the sold-out crowd. 

The result mattered little, with both sets of players embracing at the full-time whistle and lapping up support from the crowd. 


Bohemians 🤝Palestine

— Bohemian Football Club (@bfcdublin) May 15, 2024

Bohs captain Rachael Kelly said she wasn't surprised to see such strong support for Palestine, despite Wednesday's friendly being a home match for the Irish club. 

"We're Irish, the solidarity is there. The people wanted the girls to get the win. And absolutely, we were clapping for them ourselves. So look, it was brilliant. And the fans, everyone that came today that made it so much more special we're so thankful for," Kelly told Dublin radio station FM104. 

Kelly's Bohs teammate Orlagh Fitzpatrick said she was proud to take part in a moment of history. 

"I think it's it's very emotional for both sides. I think the girls coming over really gave us something to think about," Fitzpatrick said. 

"It does give you things to be grateful for, the little things, and we are definitely proud in that sense to be a part of their history. We want to show them that we do stand with them and everything going on." 

Palestinian goalkeeper Charlotte Phillips said she was instantly in tears after walking out onto the pitch and seeing the support for the Palestine team. 

"I was in tears. Right away. I saw them as soon as we walked out, you couldn't really hear them too much from the changing room. So as soon as we walked down, we saw the full house. Oh my gosh, I've never seen that many Palestinian flags in the same room. Yeah, I was instantly in tears," Phillips told FM104. 

Wednesday's friendly also featured a collectible matchday program, which featured poetry and paintings. The program also featured some criticism of Israel and FIFA President Gianni Infantino but was mainly a celebration of the Palestinian women's team traveling from the West Bank and around the world to take on Bohs. 

What an atmosphere! Bohs v Palestine 🇵🇸 ✌️ #CeaseFireNow

— Lynn Boylan 🍷📖🐾 (@LNBDublin) May 15, 2024