Sharing in the disappointment expressed by Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll and Ireland head coach Declan Kidney, Irish supporters have been tweeting all day telling the players and management how proud they are and how they can hold their heads high.
@beccimoo tweeted: "Properly devastated over the result but so, so proud of the @irfurugby clan. They really gave it everything over the five weeks."
@SiobhanR84 said: "@irfurugby well done to all the team, they played their hearts out - hold your heads up high #irishpride"
Speaking this afternoon, Barry Cunningham, Manager of the Irish Rugby Supporters Club, commented: "The tweets from supporters have been incredible. From the minute the final whistle went, people were tweeting about how proud they were of the squad.
"We have seen the reports and pictures from New Zealand of just how well supported the lads were and we know from the messages of support on Twitter and by email all week how excited everyone was.
"The Irish rugby supporters have continued that all day today; the support has been overwhelming and in fact we have seen a big surge in memberships today after the final whistle and enquiries about tickets for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.
"The great thing about Twitter is that we have seen the support from all over the world at all hours of the day and night."
@culmore25 tweeted: "Great atmosphere watching game in Perth. Hard luck, @irfurugby did us proud #RWC2011"
@TheJPH7 said: "@irfurugby gutted. But still worth watching every game at 1am California time. Very proud of the lads. Come home heads high."
Cunningham concluded: "We were the first team to reach 40,000 followers on Twitter in the Rugby World Cup and we are very humbled by the support shown. I know that when the RBS 6 Nations rolls around in February that support will continue."
The majority of the Ireland squad will arrive into Dublin via Wellington, Auckland, Dubai and London on Tuesday (October 11) at 3.35pm (flight EI165). Some of the players will also arrive into Shannon, Cork and Belfast around the same time.
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