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'EXCEPTIONAL' President Michael D Higgins praises Olympic gold medal winner Kellie Harrington

The 31-year-old Dubliner defeated Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira in the women’s lightweight boxing final in Tokyo.

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Ireland's Kellie Anne Harrington celebrates winning gold against Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira

Ireland's Kellie Anne Harrington celebrates winning gold against Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira

Ireland's Kellie Anne Harrington celebrates winning gold against Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira

President Higgins has led the congratulations to Olympic gold medal winner Kellie Harrington following her win in Tokyo.

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

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

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Ireland’s Kellie Harrington celebrates with her gold medal (Adam Davy/PA)

Ireland’s Kellie Harrington celebrates with her gold medal (Adam Davy/PA)

Ireland’s Kellie Harrington celebrates with her gold medal (Adam Davy/PA)

Harrington’s victory was cemented when she won on a unanimous points decision.

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

Ireland now have two gold and two bronze medals.

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.”

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Kellie Harrington’s mother, Yvonne Harrington (centre), celebrates with family and friends outside her Dublin home (Damien Eagers/PA)

Kellie Harrington’s mother, Yvonne Harrington (centre), celebrates with family and friends outside her Dublin home (Damien Eagers/PA)

Kellie Harrington’s mother, Yvonne Harrington (centre), celebrates with family and friends outside her Dublin home (Damien Eagers/PA)

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

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

“Your family, community and country (are) 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.”

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