A Northern Irishwoman was given the warmest of welcomes on her return to Belfast as the local Community Gospel Choir burst into song at the airport as she embraced her family.
Roisin Monroe had flown in from Ohio, America to visit her family in County Down, Northern Ireland, after she won a free trip home for Christmas in a competition ran by the Belfast Tourist Board.
As Roisin, and her children Brandon (12) and Kaeli Ann (9) stepped off the plane at George Best Airport, they rushed over to hug their waiting family, who Brandon and Kaeli Ann were effectively meeting for the first time, having only been babies on the family’s last visit.
If that wasn’t emotional enough, the entire crowd that surrounded the teary family suddenly burst into song with a rendition of Joy to the World to provide the perfect celebratory atmosphere.
The Monroe’s received free plane tickets from Ohio to Belfast after Roisin’s niece Shannen McCusker entered a competition ran by the Belfast Tourist Board to fly family members living overseas home for Christmas.
Shannen entered the competition secretly for her grandparents, knowing that being re-united with their daughter and meeting their two grandchildren would make the perfect Christmas present.
However, the musical welcome was a surprise even to her, with the Belfast Tourist Board keeping that one up their sleeves. What appeared to be fellow travellers and airline staff were actually the Belfast Community Choir, who were obviously fully rehearsed and in on the secret.
An emotional Roisin said: “It’s a total Christmas miracle. The chances of me bringing the kids home for Christmas to see my parents while they’re still here and everything, the chances were slim. And now it’s real. Oh my God, it hasn’t sunk in yet, it was like out of a movie.”
Watch Roisin and her family’s emotional return below. The second video also contains the interview with Roisin at the end.