A sort of Olympic homecoming announced for Dublin on Wednesday
Still no word on open top bus tour as row rumbles on
Dublin City Council will host a civic reception for Ireland’s Olympic heroes – after a gold medal row.
Just hours after saying there would be no official welcome home, council leaders have done a u-turn.
The Irish team will fly into Dublin from London on Monday afternoon and return home to their families.
They will then re-assemble on Wednesday when they will be feted by the city’s Lord Mayor at the Mansion House.
As of yet there are no plans for an open-top bus tour of the city despite Ireland’s best medal haul since the 1956 games in Sydney.
It has also emerged that the Irish athletes were against the idea of a formal reception on Monday – simply because it wasn’t planned in advance.
The team’s chef de mission Sonia O’Sullivan said: “We held a meeting with the athletes and they were against the timing of the homecoming, not against the idea of one.
“Nobody consulted the athletes beforehand about these plans and that was wrong.
“They have been away from their families for weeks now, they are all tired and they want to get home.”
A spokesman for the Olympic Council of Ireland confirmed the athletes will support Wednesday’s event.
He said, “The athletes were always keen, but the timing proposed wasn’t right. They’ll get a chance to see their families and come back for it.
“They really want to acknowledge the support given by the Irish public.”
The team were due to touch down at Dublin Airport at lunchtime on Monday with a press conference and a private reception on the agenda.
The Dublin Airport Authority warned fans not to turn up to the airport however as there will be no access to the athletes.
Gold medal winner Katie Taylor will be welcomed home to Bray at a lavish ceremony on Monday night.
Receptions are also planned in Mullingar for boxer John Joe Nevin and in Belfast for his team-mates Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan.
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