Tuesday 28 January 2020

WATCH: Team Ireland return from Olympics to heroes' welcome

Members of the Irish Olympic team arrive home from Brazil at Dublin Airport. Photo: Arthur Carron
Members of the Irish Olympic team arrive home from Brazil at Dublin Airport. Photo: Arthur Carron

Catherine Devine and Jason Kennedy

Dublin Airport was filled with cheers and excitement as the 45 Irish Olympians returned home from Rio today.

Irish boxer Michael Conlan said he was glad to be home but that it’s “disappointing” that his young daughter was grabbing at microphones “instead of a medal”.

Conlan who was joined by his family at Dublin Airport said the ticket allegations didn’t affect him in Rio.

“It didn’t put a damper on me, I was with my family. I was more worried about what was going on in my sport and how corrupt it was becoming. Boxing maybe shouldn’t be in the Olympics anymore with how much corruption was going on there.”

Irish athlete Thomas Barr was also welcomed home by his family, including parents Martina and Tommy.

“It was absolutely mind-blowing. It was an amazing experience. It was the most exciting thing to be standing there and watching him beat the record,” Martina said.

“There’s so much about the tickets at the moment but Thomas was able to get my tickets. We got tickets ourselves at the Box Offices in Rio too. It fell into place for us.

“Speaking to Thomas about the tickets they just shut it off. They’re focused on themselves and the rest of the athletes that are out there to perform on an Olympic stage no matter what sport and switch off completely from the negativity and the rest of it that was going on. They’re not good thoughts to have when you’re stepping out onto the stage so we did the same.

“When he comes into our house he’ll be grounded again. He wouldn’t get away with having a big head. He’s not that sort of kid. He’s humble and will relish all of this and love it but he’ll still be humble at the end of the day.”

Jack Cargo father of Irish Hockey player Chris Cargo said he hopes the sports can “recover” from the ticket touting.

“It deflects the attention that they deserve today and that’s to be regretted and hopefully the sports will recover from this.”

Jack said watching his son perform in Rio was “unbelievable”.

“It was amazing. It’s always wonderful to go to a big tournament and watch your son play. I saw all their games. We got tickets before we left and I had no problems.

“It’s good to see him again and let them know how much we’re proud of them.”

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