/ Six Nations 2014

Fans hail Grand Slam heroes

Updated: Tuesday, 24 Mar 2009 17:46

Declan Kidney and Brian O'Driscoll hold the RBS 6 Nations trophy aloft at the Mansion House
Declan Kidney and Brian O'Driscoll hold the RBS 6 Nations trophy aloft at the Mansion House

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Around 18,000 fans streamed into Dublin today to welcome Ireland's rugby team home after they clinched their first RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam victory in 61 years.

Supporters from across the country attended a homecoming celebration for the team at the Mansion House.

Out-half Ronan O'Gara dropped the winning goal three minutes from time to seal a 17-15 victory over Wales yesterday and secure Ireland's first Grand Slam win since 1948.

'This has really given everyone in the whole country a boost - we need it,' said Fran O'Neill, 44, who had travelled up from Kildare for the event.

Coach Declan Kidney told fans it had been a great journey for the team in recent weeks. Ireland defeated France and England at home and won away against Scotland and Italy.

'It's a special time to be involved in rugby. I think the boys are enjoying it,' Kidney said.

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll said it had taken a while for the victory to sink in.

'It's a fantastic feeling waking up this morning: you're not as sore as you would be if you'd lost,' he said.