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Rugby: Ireland’s victory over All Blacks has been ‘a huge lift for the nation’

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Ireland's Johnny Sexton reacts following his team's win over New Zealand. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via AP

Ireland's Johnny Sexton reacts following his team's win over New Zealand. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via AP

Ireland's Johnny Sexton reacts following his team's win over New Zealand. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via AP

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has hailed Ireland’s historic victory over the All-Blacks as “extraordinary, sensational and breathless”.

"This achievement will live long in history – a first test series win, and New Zealand’s first series defeat on home soil since 1994.

“A huge lift for the entire nation this morning,” he said. 

President Michael D Higgins also sent his congratulations. “As President of Ireland, may I congratulate the Irish rugby team, led by their captain Johnny Sexton, on their outstanding and historic achievement today,” he said.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also sent his congratulation saying: “Historic moment for Ireland in Aotearoa. Comhairdeas @IrishRugby”

Social media has been alight with praise for the heroic Irish team after their epic performance.

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said: “Yes, that just happened! Ireland have won the series in New Zealand. Historic! One of the big achievements ever in Irish sport! What a moment. Congratuations @IrishRugby – you have made us all so proud!”

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney described the victory as a “huge performance.”

Broadcaster Matt Cooper said it was: “Possibly the best first half of Irish rugby ever – even better than Twickenham 2018.” He also described it as “a brilliant day for Irish rugby.” 

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