Irish hockey appeal raises enough money for Argentina trip

Ireland officials have revealed they have raised enough money to send their men's team to the Champions Challenge tournament in Argentina.

Last week, the Irish Hockey Association had admitted they did not have the cash to take part in the event which runs from 24 November to 2 December.

On Friday, a fundraising appeal was launched in an attempt to get the £36,000 needed to compete in Quilmes.

Four days later IHA chiefs said the target had been exceeded.

They said four companies had agreed to support the team with contributions which took the public appeal past £44,000.

The appeal was to stay open until Tuesday night, with any additional funds being retained for the national men's team.

"What has taken place over the last week is simply remarkable," said Irish team captain Ronan Gormley.

"On behalf of the team, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart all those who have contributed. We have been told that we have inspired people through our performances, but now we are truly inspired by you."

When Ireland originally announced they could not afford the trip to Aregntina, officials admitted it was a huge embarrassment and there was anger within Irish hockey circles.