Triumphant Bray homecoming for Olympic hero Katie Taylor
Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor has choked back tears and dedicated her historic boxing victory to her home town.
It was one of the sunniest days of the summer as the 26-year-old took to a stage on the seafront of Bray, waving and shadow-boxing before more than 20,000 adoring fans.
"This medal belongs to everyone here and without their support I wouldn't be in this situation," she said with her hair blowing in the breeze.
Taylor laughed and cried amid a shower of confetti and streamers, while the crowd chanted her name.
"I'm just overwhelmed to be honest, this is just incredible," she told the sea of green, white and orange. This is unbelievable. I wouldn't be in this situation without all the support I've gotten over the last couple of weeks.
"The support I got in the ExCel Arena - it blew my mind. Without the support, I would be nothing."
The devout Christian also thanked the town for their prayers during her Olympic campaign, which saw her win gold in a nail-biting final against Russian Sofya Ochigava on Thursday.
"I had a whole nation praying for me and I felt the presence of God in that stadium," she said.
The sun was shining all day on the picturesque Co Wicklow town, as it greeted the boxing champ - fresh off a flight from the games in London. There was music, a barbecue, facepainting and funfair attractions along the strip, while Taylor travelled through the town in an open-top bus.
She was joined by fellow Olympic boxer and Co Wexford native Adam Nolan, who also took to the stage later to thank those who turned out for their support. Sisters Geraldine, Modesta and Christie Kandiwa - originally from Zimbabwe - were among the crowd.