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Spice Girls give Irish fans what they want - what they really, really want...

Independent.ie logo Independent.ie 25/05/2019 Laura Lynott
a group of people posing for the camera: Spice Girls fans (left) Bella Flynn, Celine Buckley, Lisa Donohoe, Amanda Mulvaney, Kellie Buckley and Gemma Collins. Picture: PA Spice Girls fans (left) Bella Flynn, Celine Buckley, Lisa Donohoe, Amanda Mulvaney, Kellie Buckley and Gemma Collins. Picture: PA

They were older, wiser but just as raucous as ever. The 1990s icons of girl power spiced up Dublin last night.

More than two decades on since the last time they graced these shores, the Spice Girls returned and were in triumphant form.

Fans had travelled from across the world to Croke Park to witness Ginger, Sporty, Baby and Scary - minus Posh - kick-off their hotly anticipated tour.

Video: Spice Girls Are Back! What You Need To Know (HuffPost UK)

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And they started in flying form with 'Spice Up Your Life', before hurtling through their catalogue of hits and finishing - some two hours later - with a thundering rendition of 'Wannabe'.

Their outfits were as glittery and over-the-top as ever - and the fans took their cue from their idols, with many dressing up as their favourite.

"You all look fabulous," said Emma Bunton, aka Baby. "Welcome to the Spice Girls, whether you're spice girls or spice boys, everyone of you is welcome tonight," she added.

"Last night I said we'll be back where we started and it's 28 years later," said Ginger Spice, Geri.

"Grown up women dressed as a princess and leopard, what will they think?"

Leo Varadkar et al. posing for the camera: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with his sister Sonia at Croke Park Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with his sister Sonia at Croke Park And while there were plenty of concertgoers who had experienced girl power first time around, many were now accompanied by their daughters.

Lorraine Morgan from Co Galway took her daughter Maia (13) to the colourful concert. "It's really exciting," Lorraine said.

"Maia turned 13 on Thursday and tonight is all about being a girl and we are loving it. There's nothing that screams girl power like the Spice Girls," she laughed.

Friends Niamh Martin (25) from Drimnagh, Dublin, and Shauna Masterson (25) from Leopardstown, Dublin, were channelling their best Scary Spice.

a group of people posing for a photo: Carnival atmosphere: Minister Helen McEntee (centre) with friends at Croke Park for the Spice Girls Concert. Photo: Steve Humphreys Carnival atmosphere: Minister Helen McEntee (centre) with friends at Croke Park for the Spice Girls Concert. Photo: Steve Humphreys "I've been into the Spice Girls since I was very small. I love Scary Spice," Niamh said.

Shauna added: "They're great because it's all about being a girl.

"They were probably the only girl band around back then and they really had an effect on little girls of our generation."

Melody May Regan (8) from Mullingar, Co Westmeath, may have been one of the youngest fans on the night. She became a fan of Mel B after watching the singer in her other well-known role as an 'America's Got Talent' judge.

Gallery: In photos: Spice Girls through the years (Microsoft GES)

"Melody loves Scary Spice," said her mother Cara Gorman.

"She saw her on the TV show and then she wanted to know more about her and I showed her YouTube videos of the band singing and she couldn't believe it.

"The whole idea of girl power was just mesmerising for her and she's been a fan ever since. She felt so empowered and optimistic for all the things girls can do after watching them sing," she added.

Meanwhile it appears that Leo Varadkar, already an avowed Kylie Minogue fan, likes the Spice Girls too.

He arrived at Croke Park with his sister, Sonia, while his partner, Matt Barrett, was also spotted arriving ahead of the gig.

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