Harrington to make final leg of long trip home by open top bus

Boxer touches down with other athletes in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon

Kellie Harrington is expected to arrive back at her family home on Portland Row early on Tuesday evening. Photograph:  Buda Mendes / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Kellie Harrington is expected to arrive back at her family home on Portland Row early on Tuesday evening. Photograph: Buda Mendes / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

 

Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington is expected to be paraded on an open top bus on Tuesday evening when she arrives back in her native Dublin.

Harrington, who won gold in the women’s boxing,  returned on a flight from Doha with the remaining Irish Olympians into Dublin Airport at around 2pm.

She will first do a round of media engagements at the airport before embarking on the last leg of her journey home.

Dublin City Council has approved the lighting of the Five Lamps landmark near her home in Portland Row in her honour.

The council has planned, in agreement with her family, that an open-top bus will start from Clonliffe House pub from 5pm onwards then drive towards Summerhill and her home in Portland Row.

The bus will do a short tour of Summerhill and Sean McDermott Street before returning to Portland Row.

She will not be leaving the bus at any time because of Covid-19 regulations. 

Several city councillors have suggested that the council award the 31-year-old the highest honour they can bestow - the Freedom of the City.

In a statement Dublin City Council said the Lord Mayor, councillors and the local authority must all be in agreement before the part-time health care worker should be given the keys to the capital.

In a Twitter post on Monday morning, Cllr Nial Ring said “Kellie’s achievements must be formally recognised with her being conferred with the highest award the city can give.”

Cllr Christy Burke and Cllr Anthony Flynn have written to the council suggesting that she receive the award.

A decision of whether she should be awarded the Freedom will not be taken until next month at the earliest at the next meeting of city councillors.

The Council said: “The award of Freedom of the City of Dublin acknowledges the contribution of certain people to the life of our city. The freedom may be awarded at any time during the year.

“The decision to grant any Freedom of the City is a decision for the Lord Mayor and councillors and must be confirmed at a council meeting. There is no council meeting in August.”

The council has said it is currently reviewing all contingencies in consultation with other relevant parties to ensure that Kellie, her family and the local community can be supported to celebrate her achievement in a Covid safe manner, having due regard to public health guidelines.

“Unfortunately there can be no formal civic reception on this occasion. We will make a further announcement in the coming days,” a spokesperson added.