A homecoming celebration for the Irish soccer squad will take place in the Phoenix Park on Tuesday 18th June at 6 pm. On arrival the squad will be transported by helicopter from Dublin airport directly to the Phoenix Park - fans are advised NOT to go to the airport.

The team lost on penalties to Spain in this afternoon's Round of 16 match in the World up in Suwon.

Their match went to extra time following an equaliser by Robbie Keane in the 90th minute of normal time, and neither side could manage a 'Golden Goal' in the thrity minutes.

After the match, President McAleese sent a message of thanks and congratulations to the squad. "You are coming home to a nation which is proud of you and thankful to you for the great experience you have given us all over the last four weeks", she said.

"For a small nation to reach the last 16 in this global tournament is a great achivement. I know that there will be great disappointment at losing the match today but I believe that every person who has watched the Irish team play in their four matches will be thankful for the joy and excitement which the team has given us".

The President also paid tribute to the fans who had travelled to Korea and Japan to support the team. "As always, the fans have done us proud and have themselves given a wonderful performance of good humour and lively support".

More match details in the RTÉ World Cup website at www.rte.ie/worldcup