Tuesday 21 August 2018

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

Ireland players (l-r) Nicola Daly, Roisín Upton, Deirdre Duke, Zoe Wilson and Elena Tice celebrate with their silver medals. Photo by Craig Mercer/Sportsfile
Ireland players (l-r) Nicola Daly, Roisín Upton, Deirdre Duke, Zoe Wilson and Elena Tice celebrate with their silver medals. Photo by Craig Mercer/Sportsfile

Robin Schiller

THE Irish women’s hockey team will receive a heroes’ welcome when they return home today after their unprecedented silver-medal finish at the Hockey World Cup in London yesterday.

Graham Shaw’s side lost to favourites the Netherlands yesterday, but still managed to achieve their highest-ever finish at an international tournament.

Irish supporters await the team's arrival
Irish supporters await the team's arrival
The Ireland team celebrate with their medals after the Women's Hockey World Cup Final match between Ireland and Netherlands.
Ayeisha McFerran was deservedly named goalkeeper of the tournament. Photo by Craig Mercer/Sportsfile
Ireland players celebrate after the Women's Hockey World Cup Finals semi-final match between Ireland and Spain at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre

They are expected to land at Dublin Airport at 12.30pm today.

Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring (inset) said a reception would be held for the team at City Hall today, where up to 5,000 people will have the chance to welcome the silver medallists home.

“We looked at Parliament Street originally with room for about 2,000 people, but we’ve gone with Dame Street which can hold up to 5,000 people.

“There will be a private reception for the team and their families first before the civic reception,” the Lord Mayor said.

Shaw took off his goalkeeper and didn’t replace him until his side had equalised. Photo by Craig Mercer/Sportsfile
Shaw took off his goalkeeper and didn’t replace him until his side had equalised. Photo by Craig Mercer/Sportsfile
Ayeisha McFerran of Ireland with her Silver Medal and her Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award during the Final game between Netherlands and Ireland of the FIH Womens Hockey World Cup.
22 March 2015; Nicci Daly, Ireland. Ireland v Canada - World Hockey League 2 Final, National Hockey Stadium, UCD, Belfield, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
4 August 2018; Hannah Matthews of Ireland in action during the Women's Hockey World Cup Finals semi-final match between Ireland and Spain at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre in QE Olympic Park, London, England. Photo by Craig Mercer/Sportsfile
Anna O’Flanagan of Ireland in action

The team are expected in City Hall about 2pm, before the reception gets under way at 3pm.

Tributes have been paid to the team for their exploits by the President and the Taoiseach. President  Michael D Higgins congratulated the team on their “fantastic accomplishment” and said they had broken new ground as a result.

“I wish to offer my warmest congratulations to the Irish women’s hockey team on their historic achievement of winning the silver medal at the World Cup,” the President said in a statement.

“To reach the final was a fantastic accomplishment and to do so with such skill, dedication and team spirit is truly inspirational.

21 July 2018; Katie Mullan of Ireland during the Women's Hockey World Cup Finals Group B match between Ireland and USA at Lee Valley Hockey Centre in QE Olympic Park, London, England. Photo by Craig Mercer/Sportsfile
21 July 2018; Katie Mullan of Ireland during the Women's Hockey World Cup Finals Group B match between Ireland and USA at Lee Valley Hockey Centre in QE Olympic Park, London, England. Photo by Craig Mercer/Sportsfile
Shirley McCay stops Holland’s Xan de Waard in her tracks during the World Cup final in London. Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images
Ireland players, from left, Yvonne O’Byrne, Nicola Daly, Roisin Upton, Deirdre Duke, Zoe Wilson, Elena Tice, and Lizzie Colvin celebrate with their silver medals
4 August 2018; Ireland goalkeepers Ayeisha McFerran, left, and Grace OFlanagan celebrate after the Women's Hockey World Cup Finals semi-final match between Ireland and Spain at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre in QE Olympic Park, London, England. Photo by Craig Mercer/Sportsfile
Netherlands players celebrate their third goal

“This team has broken new ground for Irish hockey and Irish sport and their momentous achievement will encourage young women and men all around the island of Ireland to take up sport,” the president said.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (inset) described their performance in the tournament as “truly amazing” and backed them for success in the 2020 Olympics in Toyko.

“Getting to a World Cup final ranks among the greatest moments in Irish sport and their feats will inspire young players all over the country. 

“I know defeat in the final will have been disappointing for them but I hope they have time in the coming days to reflect on what they have achieved and to enjoy their success,” the Taoiseach said.

Sports Minister Shane Ross, who attended yesterday’s final, said: “I can’t say enough about this team, they have been absolutely tremendous throughout this tournament and have played with heart, determination and an unbelievable amount of skill.

“These women have set a serious benchmark for other Irish teams, and it shows what Ireland can do on the world stage. It’s a momentous achievement, and has rightly grabbed all the headlines over the last week and will keep grabbing the headlines for a while to come.”

Read more here: Shaw’s innovation at heart of Irish rise

A unique group of women who reminded us why we get into sport in the first place – to enjoy it

No fairytale ending as Dutch masters prove step too far for Ireland

World Cup final is only the start for us - Pinder 

Irish Independent

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