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Irish women's hockey team's performance an inspiration

There were joyous scenes in Dublin yesterday as the Irish women's hockey team came back to a rapturous welcome after their stunning performance at the World Cup in London.

Against all the odds, the team battled its way to the final, losing to the Netherlands, who are ranked number one in the world, but winning a coveted silver medal and putting their stamp on the tournament and hockey's international stage.

It was not just the superb play from the women that was so inspiring but also their sheer passion and enthusiasm for the game and the marvellous team spirit that was so obviously on display.

The announcement of an extra 1.5 million euros for Sport Ireland's Olympic preparation will be warmly welcomed and is absolutely fitting for players that achieved so much and deserve to receive every support as they build on their amazing success.

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