Friday 20 April 2018

Finally...officials agree homecoming celebrations for Wednesday at the Mansion House

Ed Carty

SPORTS chiefs and councils officials have finally agreed with athletes on a special Olympics homecoming in Dublin city centre.

Amid reports of communication breakdowns and a funding row, authorities put their heads together at the eleventh hour to come up with a plan to allow the public to celebrate Irish heroes.

The event will take place at the Mansion House in Dublin at Wednesday lunchtime.

The Olympic Council of Ireland tonight said it had finalised agreement with the city council and junior sports minister Michael Ring for the homecoming celebration.

"The team arrives home at lunchtime Monday and the athletes will take a short break to see family and recuperate before joining the celebrations," the OCI said.

Discussions on a possible welcome home started on August 2 but Team Ireland chef de mission Sonia O'Sullivan claimed there had been a lack of communication with athletes to see what they wanted.

A poll among Team Ireland members over the weekend revealed most were keen to return to their home towns before being celebrated at a large-scale public event.

Katie Taylor will be centre of attention again today in Bray when she leads an open-top bus parade.

Elsewhere, double bronze medallist Paddy Barnes and boxing team-mate Michael Conlan will be welcomed in Belfast at the Titanic centre tonight.

Boxer John Joe Nevin will lead a parade in his home town of Mullingar this evening.

The OCI urged members of the public not to come to Dublin Airport on Monday when the team arrives.

The athletes will be greeted by a small number of family and friends in a restricted area of the airport in the airside section.

It is understood a special government reception is planned for Friday at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport