Michael Conlan’s young fans had a special message at Olympic homecoming

Irish fans were out in force to welcome members of Team Ireland home from Rio last night.

Members of the boxing team were among those arriving into Dublin airport and there were very special signs of support waiting for Michael Conlan.

The Belfast boxer was devastated to lose his bantamweight quarterfinal due to a highly-controversial judging decision, but family and friends were steadfast in their support.

Two young supporters held up signs that read “Michael Conlan: The real winner” and “Michael Conlan: The real winner.”

He appreciated the support received from everyone at the airport.

As well as Conlan and his fellow boxers, many of Ireland’s other stars arrived back as part of the 40-strong group, including race walker Rob Heffernan and hurdler Thomas Barr.

They may not all have medals but they’re still heroes in their fans’ eyes - young and old.

24 August 2016; Boxer Paddy Barnes with Joel Thomas, age 5, from Baldoyle, Co Dublin, at Dublin Airport as Team Ireland arrive home from the Games of the XXXI Olympiad at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
24 August 2016; Boxer Paddy Barnes with Joel Thomas, age 5, from Baldoyle, Co Dublin, at Dublin Airport as Team Ireland arrive home from the Games of the XXXI Olympiad at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

24 August 2016; Harry Gorman, who attended his fifteenth olympic games, prepares to welcome home Irish athletes at Dublin Airport as Team Ireland arrive home from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
24 August 2016; Harry Gorman, who attended his fifteenth olympic games, prepares to welcome home Irish athletes at Dublin Airport as Team Ireland arrive home from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Dublin Airport in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

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