PHOTO SPECIAL - Ireland's heroes come home

Joe Schmidt posed for photos with fans at Dublin airport
Joe Schmidt posed for photos with fans at Dublin airport

It was the most thrilling end to a 6 Nations championship in living memory and for Ireland's victorious heroes, their homecoming was the icing on the cake.

Joe Schmidt and his players went through a nerve jangling afternoon as their thumping win against Scotland left them waiting on England's result against France to decide their fate.

In the end, a gallant English effort in a truly sensational game at Twickenham came up just short, with captain Paul O'Connell leading the celebrations as he got his hands on the 6 Nations trophy for a second successive year.

As the crowds waited at Dublin airport, the cheers rang out when O'Connell emerged with the 6 Nations trophy.

Peter O'Mahony posed with supporters as the celebrations took place in perfect Dublin weather.

Rugby fanatic Darin Maguire was lucky to get his hands on the prized silverware. 

Here's hoping these scenes are repeated a thousand times over when Ireland return from the World Cup in England later this year with the biggest prize of them all.