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Tuesday 5 December 2023 Dublin: 3°C
Tony Marshall/PA Wire/Press Association Image Team Ireland
Welcome home

Don't go to the airport today to welcome the Olympians...

… go to the Mansion House on Wednesday instead.

Updated 9.15am

IF YOU WERE planning on donning something green and waving a tricolour at Dublin Airport today to welcome Ireland’s Olympic Athletes home… don’t.

The Dublin Airport Authority has said that members of the public should not come to the airport today (except for flight-related reasons of course), and should instead wait until Wednesday, when a celebration will be held at the Mansion House on Dawson Street in Dublin City Centre.

The Olympic Council of Ireland has issued a statement announcing that an agreement has been finalised between the OCI, Dublin City Council and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring.

There was major confusion yesterday over what lay behind problems organising an official homecoming, with reports suggesting that Dublin City Council and the OCI were unable to agree on who should pay for an event. An agreement was reached last night.

A spokesperson for Dublin City Council told that logistics for Wednesday’s event are still being worked out and consultations are underway with the Gardaí.

No consultation

Team Ireland’s chef de mission Sonia O’Sullivan told RTÉ yesterday that the athletes had not been consulted about a welcome celebration in the city centre. She said that a press conference at the airport when the athletes land had been discussed.

This press conference will go ahead as planned, and members of the media have been invited to attend. However the Dublin Airport Authority has said that there will be no public event at the airport and the athletes will not be exiting the airport through the normal arrival channels.

The OCI has said that athletes are eager to rest and visit with family and friends before attending a formal reception or homecoming event.

Events will be held in Bray, Mullingar and Belfast to welcome home Ireland’s medal-winning boxers. Gold medalist Katie Taylor will travel through Bray later on an open top bus, and celebrations will continue in the Wicklow town into tonight.

The government is also expected to hold a reception for athletes at Farmleigh later in the week.

RTÉ reports that Katie’s father Pete has expressed his anger over reports in the media yesterday that he had been opposed to a homecoming event in Dublin.

Minister Simon Coveney said this morning that Ireland should be celebrating the athletes’ achievements rather than focusing on the negatives.

Earlier: Confusion reigns over no homecoming for Ireland’s Olympic Athletes>

Details of Katie Taylor’s Bray homecoming revealed>

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