Wednesday 14 November 2018

'Mind-blowing' - Irish women's hockey team overwhelmed with emotion at announcement of €1.5 million in funding

6 August 2018; Irish Hockey players during the Irish Hockey Squad homecoming from the Women’s Hockey World Cup at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
6 August 2018; Irish Hockey players during the Irish Hockey Squad homecoming from the Women’s Hockey World Cup at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
6 August 2018; Ireland players, from left, Nikki Evans, Katie Mullan and Anna O'Flanagan during the Irish Hockey Squad homecoming from the Women’s Hockey World Cup at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
6 August 2018; Irish Hockey players during the Irish Hockey Squad homecoming from the Women’s Hockey World Cup at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
6 August 2018; Elle Shaw, age 6, from Knocklyon, Dublin meeting players from the Irish hockey team during the Irish Hockey Squad homecoming from the Women’s Hockey World Cup at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
6 August 2018; Irish players Lizzie Colvin, left, and Emily Beatty during the Irish Hockey Squad homecoming from the Women’s Hockey World Cup at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
The team captained by Katie Mullan were beaten 6-0 by now eight-time world champions the Netherlands yesterday but without doubt coming home with silver was more than the girls had anticipated.
Head Coach of Ireland Graham Shaw
Irish supporters await the team's arrival
Ireland players celebrate after the Women's Hockey World Cup Finals semi-final match between Ireland and Spain at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre
'Now they go to work and even to this untutored eye it is obvious that they work extremely hard for each other.' Photo: Sportsfile
Holly Jenkinson from Meath celebrates the Irish Women’s Team World Cup semi final win in the Railway Union Sports and Social Club in Sandymount. Photo: Tony Gavin 4/8/2018
Anna Houle, Wisconsin, Emma Donohoe, Rathfarnham and Martha McCready, Leopardstown celebrate the Irish Women’s Team World Cup semi final win in the Railway Union Sports and Social Club in Sandymount. Photo: Tony Gavin 4/8/2018
Cliona McCullagh, Drumcondra, Niamh Sweeney, Ballinteer and Carolyn Crompton, Stillorgan celebrate the Irish Women’s Team World Cup semi final win in the Railway Union Sports and Social Club in Sandymount. Photo: Tony Gavin 4/8/2018
Holly Jenkinson from Meath watches the Irish Women’s Team playing in the World Cup semi final in the Railway Union Sports and Social Club in Sandymount. Photo: Tony Gavin 4/8/2018

Sorcha O'Connor

There were emotional scenes in Dublin Airport on Monday as the Irish women's hockey team were greeted with the news that an additional €1.5million was being allocated to high performance teams for Olympic and championship preparation by the Department of Sport.

It was clear the announcement made by Minister Shane Ross at the  airport meant a lot to the team, with several members of the team who achieved second place at the Hockey World Cup in London yesterday becoming overwhelmed with emotion and shedding a tear of joy.

Their achievement was hailed a "Ronnie Delaney moment" by Minister Ross, who said it was among the best ever in Irish sporting history.

The team captained by Katie Mullan were beaten 6-0 by now eight-time world champions the Netherlands yesterday but without doubt coming home with silver was more than the girls had anticipated.

Katie said she was lucky to get to captain the side and said that the money could mean the team could compete with the top nations.

"I think the look on the girls' faces says it all, it was completely unexpected," she said.

"Hopefully it's not just a quick fix, we need to be funded from here on forward if we want to qualify for world cups," she added.

Chloe Watkins (26) who plays for Monkstown in Dublin and scored the penalty which sent the side into the semi-final, said the whole experience had been "surreal" and described the announcement of funding as "mind-blowing".

"It hasn't sunk in yet. Everyone has been telling us about the buzz at home," she told independent.ie

"We never imagined this recognition. I've played since I was seven and I've been in the squad eight years. We've had tough years.

"It's mind-blowing, we've scraped for so many years,"she added.

Family and fans waited outside terminal one for their heroes before the girls went on to Dublin Castle to meet the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

Read more here: City Hall reception for Irish women's hockey team after they arrive home today

 

Irish hockey hero Lizzie Colvin jokes she has '17 bridesmaids now' after spirited World Cup final

 

'Legends of Irish sport' - Hockey World Cup stars praised as thousands expected for homecoming 

 

City Hall reception for Irish women's hockey team after they arrive home today

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