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Irish Olympic medalists return home to Dublin airport Photo by: RTE

Irish Olympic team hold their medals high as they arrive home at Dublin airport

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Irish Olympic medalists return home to Dublin airport Photo by: RTE

The Irish Olympic team arrived home on Monday after their most successful games since 1956.

Lightweight boxing gold medal winner Katie Taylor proudly waved the tri-color from the cockpit of the Aer Lingus plane after the team touched down on Irish soil.

The 66 athletes that made up Team Ireland were welcomed by friends, relatives, and supporters at Dublin Airport, before they each departed for their home towns.

Events were held in Bray, Mullingar, and Belfast to welcome home medal winners Katie Taylor, John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan.

President of the Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey said the team was "truly happy" to be home.

Chef de Mission Sonia O'Sullivan said team spirit played a role in the success of the Irish players.

Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring thanked the team on behalf of the Government and the Irish people, saying they "lifted the souls, minds and hearts of the people in Ireland."

An estimated 20,000 people gathered on the seafront in Bray to welcome home Taylor and Wexford boxer Adam Nolan, who trains in the town. The pair arrived in the seaside town on an open-top bus.

Taylor thanked everyone for their prayers and said she felt so proud and could not have achieved such success without the support she has received over the last few years.

"I'm just overwhelmed. This is just incredible," Taylor told a crowd of several thousand people

Bantamweight silver medalist John Joe Nevin enjoyed a homecoming parade in his home town of Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. His fellow Olympian, Joseph Murphy, who finished fifth in the team eventing competition, was also honored.

In Belfast, Bronze medal winners Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan attended a reception at the Titanic Centre in Belfast on Monday night. The pair will also be honored with an open-top tour  of the city on Tuesday.

Meanwhile an official homecoming reception for the Irish Olympic squad will be held at Mansion House in Dublin at 1pm on Wednesday. After much confusion, the Olympic Council of Ireland confirmed the official celebrations would go ahead.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, Pat Hickey said there had been a breakdown in communications concerning the homecoming.

"There was some problems with communication, whether it was going to be in the Mansion House or the airport, or a Government reception at Farmleigh.

"With so many things in the mix and with the closing ceremony, it was very busy."

He denied there had been a disagreement with Katie Taylor’s father over the event.

Hickey said: "There is no rift whatsoever between Pete Taylor and the Olympic Council of Ireland or their athletes. I personally have a great relationship with Peter.

"He was misquoted in several papers yesterday about many things and, of course, the man was very angry."

Here's a clip from the airport:

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