Tuesday 16 July 2019

Hockey team hailed for ‘spirit, skill and dedication’ ahead of World Cup final

Ireland’s hockey team have been praised across the board for getting to the World Cup final.

Ireland’s players celebrate (Steven Paston/PA)
Ireland’s players celebrate (Steven Paston/PA)

By Aoife Moore, Press Association

Ireland’s hockey team will take on Holland in the World Cup final after beating Spain in a sudden-death shootout.

This is Ireland’s first World Cup appearance in 16 years.

The team have been hailed by celebrities and politicians as an inspiration for young people in Ireland.

The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, was one of the first to congratulate the team.

“As President of Ireland I wish to congratulate the Irish women’s hockey team and to thank them, on behalf of the people of Ireland, for their incredible achievements in the World Cup.

“The players, coach and support staff have overcome great difficulties, on and off the pitch, and have demonstrated what team spirit, skill and dedication can accomplish.

“We are all looking forward to a historic match on Sunday.”

Political leaders from north and south were quick to praise the underdog team.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted his support throughout the match and congratulated the team after their win.

DUP leader Arlene Foster called the team an inspiration, while former UUP leader Mike Nesbitt said they were “brilliant”.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said: “All of Ireland behind you tomorrow.”

Ireland will play current champions the Netherlands in Sunday’s final.

The seven-times winners beat Australia 3-1 in a shootout after the second semi-final ended in a 1-1 draw.

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