Kellie Harrington: No formal civic reception due to Covid-19, council says

Olympic champion plans to return to work at St Vincent’s Hospital in Fairview

Kellie Harrington on the big screen at Croke Park during the All-Ireland hurling semi-final. Dublin City Council says any celebration will have to have ‘due regard to public health guidelines’.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Kellie Harrington on the big screen at Croke Park during the All-Ireland hurling semi-final. Dublin City Council says any celebration will have to have ‘due regard to public health guidelines’. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Olympic gold medallist Kellie Harrington is expected to return to Ireland on Tuesday, but there can be no formal civic reception for the athlete this year due to Covid-19, Dublin City Council has said.

Harrington, who is from Portland Row in Dublin’s north inner city, will come back to Ireland with a gold medal following her Olympic final win against Beatriz Ferreira, making her the second Irish woman to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing and the ninth person to win a gold for Ireland since 1924.

Dublin City Council said it was “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”.

The council congratulated Harrington on her “wonderful achievement in winning the gold medal at the Olympics”.

Harrington’s friends, neighbours and the local community in the north inner city were “understandably keen for the city to mark her homecoming”, a statement from the council said.

Public health guidelines

Any celebration would have to have “due regard to public health guidelines” and there could be no formal civic reception on this occasion.

The council “will make a further announcement in the coming days” regarding its plans for Harrington’s return.

Meanwhile, Harrington has said she plans to return to work at St Vincent’s Hospital, Fairview two or three weeks after her return to Ireland.

“I’ll be back to work and doing my normal thing and that keeps me grounded,” she said, adding that she would be “bringing the medal to work” where there might be “a little party” for her in St Mary’s ward.

The hospital congratulated Harrington and described her as an “inspiration to all of us throughout this Olympic Games”.

Her colleagues at the hospital were “looking forward to seeing her back here at the hospital, at a time that’s convenient for her, in the coming days”.

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