THERE were celebrations in Dublin Airport as the 20-millionth passenger walked through the arrival gates.
Roma Chang said she was "overwhelmed" yesterday when she was greeted by the airport's police and fire service band to the strains of 'Congratulations'.
The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) was also using the occasion to celebrate a year of growth, and announced a 6pc increase in passengers in 2013.
"Dublin Airport has had an excellent year in passenger number terms," DAA chief executive Kevin Toland said. "We're up almost 6pc for the year, which is our third consecutive year of passenger growth."
Ms Chang, from Co Tyrone, said it was "a fantastic way to be greeted on arrival in Dublin Airport," as she was presented with flowers, champagne, and a €3,000 holiday voucher when she disembarked from her United Airlines flight from Washington at Terminal 2.
Ms Chang is currently living in New York and working as a project manager. She was flying home for the New Year, and said she was "shocked" when she was approached by the DAA.
A record 1.8 million passengers have flown between Dublin Airport and North America this year, beating the previous peak of 1.79 million in 2008.
Annual passenger numbers at Dublin Airport peaked at just under 23.5 million in 2008 and fell to 18.4 million in 2010, before growing again.