Ireland's president praises Olympic gold medal winner Kellie Harrington

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An emotional Kellie Harrington after striking gold in Tokyo

By Cate McCurry, PA and Q Radio News

Ireland’s president has led the congratulations to Olympic gold medal winner Kellie Harrington following her win in Tokyo.

Michael D. Higgins praised the 31-year-old’s “exceptional” achievement after she defeated Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira in the women’s lightweight boxing final on Sunday.

The Dubliner put herself in the history books by becoming the second Irish woman to win a gold medal in boxing following Katie Taylor at London 2012.

Harrington won on a unanimous points decision.

It was Ireland’s second gold medal in Tokyo after rowers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy secured their place at the top.

Ireland secured two gold and two bronze medals at the games.

President Higgins wrote on Twitter: “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.”

There were celebrations among her family and friends in Portland Row, with Irish flags and bunting decked across homes and streets.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “Congratulations Kellie Harrington on winning gold for Ireland in an epic Olympic final. Brilliant fight.

“Your family community and country overjoyed for you.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney described her as a “role model”.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said: “True courage, brilliance and humility.

“(Kellie) has all the qualities of a true Olympic champion. She represents everything great about being Irish, an inner city Dub, and a class young woman. Bravo. Legend.”

Residents in Portland Row in Dublin's north inner city, where Kellie is from, gathered to watch the fight on a big screen.

There were emotional and excited scenes when the local girl won. 

The family of Irish boxer Kellie Harrington, mother Yvonne Harrington and father Christy Harrington , celebrate outside the family home in Dublin after Kellie won the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. PA photo

The family and friends of Irish boxer Kellie Harrington celebrate her win as they gather outside her family home in Dublin to watch her compete for the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. PA photo 

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