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Festive reunions at Dublin airport

Mike Dineen is welcomed home from New York by his girlfriend Orla Kenny
Mike Dineen is welcomed home from New York by his girlfriend Orla Kenny

THESE were the emotional scenes at Dublin Airport as 80,000 passengers travelled home for Christmas.

Family and friends greeted loved ones as thousands arrived ahead of the Christmas rush.

Dublin Airport is expecting a bumper year, with the number of passengers travelling up by almost 18 per cent on last year.

It is expected that more than 925,000 passengers will pass though Dublin Airport between now and January 1.

The airport has been given a special makeover for the festive season, with more than 100 Christmas trees, 500 snowflakes and 90,000 lights greeting passengers.

School choirs have also been adding to the festive cheer to welcome emigrants home.

Emma Hurley (39), from Kells, Co. Meath, broke down in tears as she met her little eight-month-old niece Aine.

Emma Hurley and Aine

“The family will be together now for the first time in two years,” she said.

Proud mum Annette Moran welcomed home her daughter Sandra from New York alongside her sister Caoimhe and Lorraine.

“I’m very excited to be home, it doesn’t feel real at all,” Sandra told the Sunday World.

It was a double delight for Siobhan Harding (69), from Greystones, Co. Wicklow, who was welcoming home her son Stephen, from L.A., and daughter Elaine, from Seattle.

“I’m just finished chemo and this is the first year we’re all going to be together,” said Siobhan.

Airport spokeswoman Siobhan O’Donnell added: “If people are coming over the next week we’d say bring the tissues,  because it’s really special at this time of year.”