WATCH: Hero Harrington’s Homecoming

Picture - Conor McCabe for Dublin City Council

Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington has returned home to Dublin’s north inner city.

Thousands turned out as a bus carrying the lightweight champion made its way through the streets of D1 near her home on Portland Row.

The 31 year old was however, unable to leave the bus due to Covid restrictions but you can watch her journey from Summerhill to The Five Lamps here.

Harrington said, “It’s so nice to finally be home and I’m delighted to be bringing the gold back to the north inner city! Winning the gold is a huge honour and I’m so grateful for all the support from my family, my local community and my country. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again to thank you for the immense support and many kind wishes you’ve sent my way throughout my Olympic journey – I couldn’t have done it without you”.

The area surrounding Harrington’s family home on Portland Row had been decorated ahead of her return in the open-top bus with fellow Team Ireland boxer, Emmet Brennan. The bus started its route in Ballybough at 5pm, proceeding to Gardiner Street, Killarney Street, Portland Row, Sean MacDermott Street, Summerhill, and ending in North Strand, with people lining the roads to cheer on the pair.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland said, “Today is a wonderful day for Dublin, for our local communities, for Team Ireland, for the families and friends of all our Dublin Olympians and most especially for our gold medalist Kellie Harrington. Dublin is bursting with pride. Had it not been for Covid, Dublin would have thrown open its streets to all who wanted to show their pride and passion for our amazing Olympians – perhaps, in the future when Covid is well and truly passed, we can come together and celebrate with joy their amazing achievements.”

Speaking on her arrival at Dublin Airport earlier in the day, Kellie said she is delighted to hear people are inspired by her achievement and that she is in no mood for retirement.

When asked if a fight with former Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor was on the cards she said: “That’s a question that shouldn’t even be asked.”

“I knew this was going to be the question and to me that’s a question that shouldn’t even be asked; this is about my time this is about me winning an Olympic medal and I’m going to stick to that. She’s doing her thing and I’m doing my thing.”

Watch the full press conference here.