The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross, TD, and the Minister with responsibility for Sport, Mr. Brendan Griffin, TD, today celebrated the outstanding performances of the Ireland team at the Hockey Women’s World Cup.
Graham Shaw’s Irish team have enjoyed their best ever performance at the tournament and will meet either the Netherlands or Australia in tomorrow’s World Cup final after this afternoon’s magnificent win over Spain in the semi-final.
Minister Ross said: “The first Ireland team to be involved in a final day of a World Cup, this is beyond belief and a truly fabulous achievement. Having witnessed the desire and determination of these girls first hand in today’s semi-final, I consider myself very fortunate. No other team has played on such a stage and they have truly lit up the country as we joined them on this epic journey. The courage and nerve shown by the whole squad and management but particularly by Gillian Pinder and Ayeisha McFerran in the penalty shoot-out was a joy to behold. Throughout this World Cup, I have been struck by the sense of togetherness this Irish team has shown. It has been so uplifting to see these dedicated young women represent their national team with real pride and it augurs well for the future of the game in Ireland. I am sure up and down the country young girls and boys will be trying to replicate those outstanding moments for years to come, and we wait with baited breath in the hope they bring home the Cup, either way they have done us all so proud.”
Minister Griffin added: “Once again we can only marvel at the commitment and determination of this Irish squad. Hockey Ireland set out four years ago to increase participation numbers in their sport in clubs and schools around the island – this success and that of the men in reaching the 2016 Olympics can only have reminded young Irish people that this is a great sport to get involved in. They have achieved so much for their sport on this incredible journey. And I wish them well in the final.