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Northern Ireland team to get heroes' homecoming welcome

By Adrian Rutherfrod

Published 26/06/2016

Northern Ireland's (l-r) goalkeeper Michael McGovern, Oliver Norwood and Craig Cathcart during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Northern Ireland's (l-r) goalkeeper Michael McGovern, Oliver Norwood and Craig Cathcart during the round of 16 match at the Parc de Princes, Paris. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

Northern Ireland's footballers will be given a heroes' welcome when they return home tomorrow evening.

The squad are due to arrive back in Belfast in the next 24 hours after their Euro 2016 dreams were ended by Wales.

A special homecoming event has been announced in Belfast.

It will take place at the Belsonic Fan Zone site at Titanic Quarter.

Boss Michael O'Neill is expected to address fans and thank them for their incredible backing.

Details of the homecoming event were announced today by Sports Minister Paul Givan.

He said: “I am pleased to announce that my department in conjunction with the Irish FA, Belsonic and Belfast City Council will be hosting a homecoming event for the Northern Ireland football team.

“The event will take place at the Belsonic Fan Zone site at Titanic Quarter on Monday  and will give the fans the opportunity to see the team as they return from their historic journey in France.

 “Michael O’Neill and the team have made the whole country proud and it has been fantastic to see the green and white army getting behind their team, both in France and  back home.”

Northern Ireland's Euro dreams ended after a 1-0 defeat by Wales in Paris on Saturday evening.

An own-goal from Gareth McAuley settled the last-16 game at the Parc des Princes.

Tomorrow's homecoming will be a ticketed event and tickets will be available today from 6pm via the Ticketmaster website – www.ticketmaster.ie  There will be a nominal £2 admin charge per ticket, £1 of which will go the official charity of both the Irish FA and Fan Zone, which is NI Cancer Fund for Children.

O’Neill and the players will be on stage to share their experiences at Euro2016 in France. 

Doors open at 5pm, with the event commencing from 5.30pm. It is expected to finish approx 8.30pm.

Parking is not available at the venue so fans are encouraged to use public transport. 

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