There were joyous scenes of celebration at Portland Row in Dublin's north inner city this morning as Kellie Harrington's family and friends celebrated her Olympic gold medal victory.
A crowd gathered to watch her lightweight final bout against Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira on an outdoor screen this morning.
Bunting decorated the streets as the local crowd cheered on their hero, before visiting her parents house afterwards.
Her mother Yvonne continued her habit of avoiding watching Harrington's fights.
She told The Irish Times she was “out the back... in the garden” during the fight, adding: “All she really wanted was to see the people smiling — make people happy.”
Her father Christy Harrington ran outside in tears of joy after watching his daughter's victory, describing it as a “magnificent feeling”.
“We always knew she had the capabilities to do this. And now we can say it. Our Kellie is an Olympic gold medallist.”
People have been queueing up to pay tribute to the Dubliner following her unanimous decision victory.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin wrote: “Congratulations #kellieharrington on winning gold for Ireland in an epic Olympic final. Brilliant fight. Your family community and country overjoyed for you.”
Congratulations #kellieharrington on winning gold for Ireland in an epic Olympic final. Brilliant fight. Your family community and country overjoyed for you.
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) August 8, 2021
President Michael D Higgins said: “My warmest congratulations to Kellie Harrington on winning her gold medal at the Olympic Games. Hers is an exceptional achievement, and she is an inspiration for us all.”
“My warmest congratulations to Kellie Harrington on winning her gold medal at the Olympic Games. Hers is an exceptional achievement, and she is an inspiration for us all.” #Tokyo2020 @sportireland @TeamIreland
— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) August 8, 2021
Fellow Irish gold medal-winning boxers Katie Taylor and Michael Carruth also congratulated Harrington on her victory.
Taylor called Harrington's victory “outstanding” while Carruth said “welcome to the club champ”.
OLYMPIC CHAMPION!!! Outstanding Kellie! 🇮🇪🥇 https://t.co/QkGP72CTPX
— Katie Taylor (@KatieTaylor) August 8, 2021
I am so so happy and proud this morning. @Kelly64kg what an amazing fight! Enjoy the celebrations, welcome to the club champ 🇮🇪☘️🥊Advertisement
— michael carruth (@michaelcarruth2) August 8, 2021
St Vincent's Hospital Fairview, where Harrington works, congratulated her in a statement.
“This is such a proud achievement for Kellie, and for her family and many friends. She was an inspiration to all of us throughout this Olympic Games; getting to an Olympic final and taking home a gold medal is a remarkable achievement,” it said.
“Kellie is not just an outstanding sportswoman, but also a valued and dedicated staff member here at the hospital. We are so proud of her and we look forward to seeing her back here at the hospital, at a time that’s convenient for her, in the coming days.”
The success of the 31-year-old marks the first time Ireland have won two gold medals in two different sports at the same Olympics, with rowers Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan also triumphing in the men’s lightweight double sculls.
Kellie’s brother Christopher said: “It was iconic and it will take a while to see it it happen again.
“Can’t wait to get her home on Tuesday.”
Speaking after the win, Harrington said: “I feel relief, we are all champions, anyone who steps between those ropes are champions.
“Every fight has been a tough fight, every fight has been a gold medal fight. It’s fantastic and I can’t wait to get back home and sleep on the couch.
“I am exhausted. There has been times in my career when people say the whole country is behind you, this time I really feel the whole country is behind me.
“People might say that’s pressure, that you have weight on your shoulders, but I really didn’t because I know no matter what happened out here today, whether it was gold or silver, I knew I would make myself proud and the people of Ireland proud, regardless of the colour of the medal.” — Additional reporting from Press Association