After the Dublin sailing star stepped ashore at a crowded section of the East Pier, the 26–year–old double Olympian was officially greeted by Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Shane Ross, Dun Laoghaire's own Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O'Connor and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Cathaoirleach Cormac Devlin.
Members of the Rio Olympic Sailing Team, Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern, Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey along with Rio coaches James O'Callaghan and Rory Fitzpatrick accompanied Ireland's only sailing medal winner since 1980 to the near–by People's Park for a civic reception. The guest of honour said she was thrilled to have been given such a welcome home and hoped that her medal performance would inspire others to get involved in sailing.
Among the crowd waiting for her to step ashore were many sailors from Dun Laoghaire's four waterfront clubs but also from the network of over 100 sailing clubs across the country. Ireland's last Olympic medal winner David Wilkins, who won silver in 1980, was also there to greet Annalise.
Minister Ross said 'I am delighted for Annalise, we all know how determined she was to bring home a medal, after coming so close four years ago this is a fantastic achievement for her. Bouncing back from the disappointment of finishing fourth in London 2012 to become European Champion in 2013 to now achieving a silver medal at the Olympics is a wonderful endorsement for what can be achieved through hard work and talent. She has been so determined and she is a fantastic role model for all young athletes'.
During the ceremony, the Cathaoirleach announced a new 'Annalise Murphy Sailing Bursary' of €5,000. The prize is a joint DLRCC / University College Dublin collaboration. It will be awarded annually to an outstanding young sailor who does not come from a 'traditional sailing background'. The bursary may be used to assist with third level education.
The family homecoming event featured a Brazilian Samba band, a dancing troupe, DJ, face painting, flags, balloons, and a boat display as part of the Irish Sailing Association's 'Try Sailing' Campaign.
Annalise and other Olympic heroes from Dun Laoghaire borough were interviewed on stage.
Annalise's welcome home party continued with a special reception at the National Yacht Club where she was made an honorary NYC life member by Commodore Larry Power. Photo gallery below by Joe Fallon.