Rugby heroes get rousing welcome home
FANS turned out in force to give a rousing reception to Ireland's Women's World Cup rugby heroes at Dublin Airport.
The Tricolour, balloons, and banners festooned the arrivals area to mark a remarkable sporting odyssey.
The fervour in Terminal One was a special acknowledgement of the team's historic win against the mighty New Zealanders.
Supporters sang their hearts out with Ireland's Call, Amhran na bhFiann, and The Fields Of Athenry ringing around the airport.
The crowds had been gathering for well over an hour and cheers of excitement erupted as the Irish team emerged from arrivals.
Leading the women in green was captain Fiona Coghlan as she and her team mates were mobbed by some of their most fervent supporters.
But there was also a distinct tinge of disappointment among some of the players, who clearly felt that the ultimate prize had been within their grasp.
"We achieved our goal of making the top four, but when you get there you want more," Fiona told the Irish Independent.
"We didn't perform at the business end of the season.
"However, beating New Zealand was a high, and woke up the whole tournament and threw it wide open. But as a sportsperson you're there to win."
She also said her decision to retire from international rugby was due to the impact it is having on other aspects of her life.
Yet the win over the Black Ferns - something their male counterparts have yet to achieve in over a century of games against the All Blacks - will remain a sporting landmark.