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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 22 February, 2019
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Ireland's hockey heroes to be welcomed home with civic reception in Dublin

Lord Mayor and Dublin City Council organise public event for Bank Holiday Monday.

Ireland won World Cup in silver on Sunday afternoon.
Ireland won World Cup in silver on Sunday afternoon.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Ryan Bailey reports from the Lee Valley Stadium, London

THE MAGNITUDE OF the achievement may take some time to fully sink in, but the Ireland women’s hockey team will get a first taste of the public’s pride when they’re welcomed home with a civic reception tomorrow afternoon.

Graham Shaw’s side made history in London by becoming the first Irish senior team — in any sport — to qualify for a World Cup final and while they suffered defeat to Netherlands in this afternoon’s gold medal match, that should not detract from one of the greatest Irish sporting achievements.

A sensational, and unexpected, run to the final saw Ireland make their mark on what was their first World Cup appearance in 16 years, while firmly putting themselves and hockey in the hearts and minds of the nation throughout a memorable campaign.

Shaw’s side — ranked 16th in the world pre-tournament — defied all odds to record wins over higher-ranked nations such as USA, India and Spain en route to a famous silver medal.

And the team will be given a hero’s welcome back to Dublin on Bank Holiday Monday after it was confirmed the Lord Mayor Nial Ring and Dublin City Council will host a special homecoming event in the capital.

The World Cup silver medal winning squad will arrive into Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1 at 12.30pm tomorrow, before making their way into the city centre for a civic reception.

On behalf of Dublin City Council, the team will be welcomed onto the stage on Dame Street at 3pm by the Lord Mayor and other dignitaries, with members of the public given the opportunity to help mark the momentous accomplishment.

There will be access to Dame Street from 2pm, with organisers recommending members of the public wishing to attend to use public transport to and from the event.

President Michael D. Higgins said the team’s achievement would help ‘young women and men all around the island of Ireland to take up sport and for that the team and support staff deserve all our thanks.’

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Ryan Bailey

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