Dublin homecoming for Ireland's hockey heroes
Minister for Sport Shane Ross has announced an additional â¬1.5 million in funding for Olympic and World Champion preparation this year, with a significant amount going to women's hockey.
The minister made the announcement as he welcomed the Hockey World Cup silver medalists at Dublin Airport this afternoon, following their 6-0 defeat to eight-time World Champions The Netherlands in London yesterday.
He said it was the immediate reaction to the team's "exceptional" and "momentous" performance.
Mr Ross said that while technically the team was defeated yesterday, it was a great victory for the Irish and he praised the players "one of the top Irish sporting achievements of all time".
He said it must be remembered that it was an amateur team that took on professionals.
Team members shed tears in response to the news of the extra funding, and said it would change women's hockey and give them hope of reaching the Olympics.
Meanwhile, hundreds of fans are in Dublin city centre to welcome home Team Ireland.
The squad was given a civic reception at City Hall and then attended a public event on Dame Street.
Traffic restrictions are in place in parts of Dublin city centre for the event which began at 3pm.
Dame Street is closed both ways between George's Street and Parliament Street.
Traffic from High Street will be directed down either Winetavern Street or Nicholas Street as there will be no access to Lord Edward Street.
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Additional reporting Dyane ConnorSource: Google News Ireland | Netizen 24 Ireland