Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Aer Lingus welcomes Team Ireland home
Flight number EI 159, an airbus A321, carrying 200 passengers, including Team Ireland, departed London Heathrow at 12.05 and arrived in Dublin at 1.25pm. As a memento of the official homecoming flight, each passenger received a gift of a retro sports bag, designed in the vintage Aer Lingus 'Irish Airlines' colours.
The aircraft was met by Dublin Airport fire service and escorted to its parking stand at T2. The Athletes including medal winners Katie Taylor, John Joe Nevin, Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlon and Cian O’Connor were greeted by their families and friends at Dublin Airport.
Following a photo call at the steps of the aircraft, a press reception was held in the terminal building. Among the attendees who welcomed Team Ireland back were Mayor of Fingal Cian O’Callaghan, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD, Lord Mayor of Dublin Naoise O’Muiri, Northern Ireland Minister for Culture, Arts & Leisure Carál Ni Chuilín MLA, acting British Ambassador Andrew Staunton, Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey and Chef de Mission Sonia O’Sullivan, amongst other dignitaries.
Speaking on the occasion, Christoph Mueller said: "We are incredibly proud to welcome the Irish Olympic Team on board the special Aer Lingus homecoming flight. On behalf of all the staff at Aer Lingus, I would like to take this opportunity to offer our congratulations to Team Ireland on their success in the London Olympic Games."
The Olympic Council of Ireland President, Pat Hickey said, "It's been a marvellous Olympic Games for Team Ireland and we return home knowing that the Irish public fully appreciated the efforts of our athletes at the greatest sporting event on earth. We thank everyone for their support and good wishes."