NEWLY crowned world champion Irish dancer Sean Slemon returned to a hero's welcome in Moyvane on Thursday night - but not before his mother Annette almost stole his thunder, fracturing her ankle in a fall at Shannon Airport and spending hours in casualty.
The 10-year-old dancer was crowned world champion in Boston last Monday, while his older brother Aaron finished a very creditable 15th in his age group. However, homecoming celebrations were halted somewhat while the boys' mother was treated for her injuries, but thankfully was given the go ahead to join the boys later that night - albeit on crutches.
The magnitude of Sean's win was still sinking in at the family home in Moyvane on Friday, where Sean's dad Harry spoke of his immense pride in the two boys. He said it was an incredible achievement for Sean to come away with a world title at the first time of asking.
Sean has been dancing since the age of four and in the past two years has won the All-Ireland, All British and All Scottish Championships, as well as the British Nationals.
"We are absolutely over the moon and I don't think Sean has realised how massive this is yet," he said. "He has put so much effort into this and thankfully it has paid off.
"Sean is forever dancing. You could see him during a football match doing steps in the corner and even at the airport yesterday he was skipping and dancing and doing turns. He dances in his sleep."
Despite mom Annette's hospital drama, Sean and big brother Aaron enjoyed great celebrations on their arrival in Moyvane on Thursday night, including a reception in the community centre, a parade through the village, followed by music - and of course some dancing.
Before coming back to Kerry, Sean and Aaron celebrated their success with renowned Irish singer Paddy Reilly, who they met in Mr Dooley's Irish Bar in Boston - owned by John Joe Somers from Finuge.