Ireland's Olympic medal-winning rowers have returned home after collecting gold and bronze medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Skibbereen's Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy, who won gold in the men's lightweight double sculls, returned home to Cork on Sunday ahead of a low-key homecoming due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the quartet of Emily Hegarty, Fiona Murtagh, Eimear Lambe, and Aifric Keogh, who secured a bronze medal in the women's fours, were greeted by cheering family members at Dublin Airport as they made their return from Tokyo.
The quartet secured Ireland's first-ever medal in women's Olympic rowing after their heroic finish at the Sea Forest Waterway on Wednesday.
A day later, O'Donovan and McCarthy secured Ireland's first-ever gold medal in Olympic medal and the country's first Olympic gold medal in nine years with their stunning victory at the same venue.
The two gold medalists will be reunited with their families when they arrive at Skibbereen.
O'Donovan, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio De Janeiro with his brother Gary, received a hero's welcome when he returned to Skibbereen five years ago.
More than 10,000 people thronged the streets of the west Cork town, which boasts a population of around 2,500 people.
However, Fintan McCarthy's mother Sue said that there won't be a similar homecoming this year due to the pandemic, although she said that "everyone will do whatever they can" to welcome home the rowers.
"Obviously at the moment restrictions prevent doing anything huge but we will see what we can do and we will do the best we possibly can. We’ll just have to wait and see," Sue McCarthy told the Journal.
Emily Hegarty, who won a bronze medal with the women's fours, is also a member of Skibbereen Rowing Club and lives in the same parish as O'Donovan and McCarthy.
All 12 members of Ireland's Olympic rowing team have returned home, with athletes forced to vacate the Olympic village shortly after their final event.
Welcome home to all our team. We are so proud of every single one of our medalists 🏅🏅 🥉🥉🥉 🥉 , HPD, coaches, athletes, support staff, families, partners and friends. #weareallrowingireland pic.twitter.com/x2xa9JpSu5— Rowing Ireland (@RowingIreland) August 1, 2021