The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) today confirmed that the Olympic Flame will visit Dublin as part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on 6 June next year. The proposal for a short visit was ratified by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at their Executive Board meeting in Lausanne this morning.
The proposal for the Olympic Flame to visit Ireland was developed by LOCOG, the UK Government, the Irish Government, the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland, the Olympic Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council.
The Olympic Flame will journey around Northern Ireland between Sunday 3 June and Thursday 7 June 2012 and, given the proximity of the Flame to the Republic of Ireland, this symbolic visit has been arranged to shine a light on the rich heritage and sporting ambitions of both parts of Ireland.
The Olympic Flame will arrive in Dublin on the morning of 6 June having crossed the border. From the start point in Dublin, Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame through the city and proceedings will culminate in a mid-morning celebration event at a city centre location.
“Further details of the crossing point, the route around Dublin and the event programme will be confirmed next year,” said Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland who has been working for four years to make this ground breaking visit happen.
“I am delighted that the Olympic Flame will visit Dublin for what will be a historic moment. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate the rich sporting heritage of Ireland and an opportunity for the local community to be part of the excitement in the build up to the Games. We are grateful for the support of all involved and we look forward to working together to deliver a memorable experience”.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: ‘We are delighted to take the Olympic Flame to Dublin on the morning of 6 June. This is a historic opportunity to showcase the wealth of sporting talent from across the Republic ahead of the competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games”
An Taoiseach – Enda Kenny said “The announcement that the Olympic Torch Relay is to come to Dublin is fantastic news and will put Ireland centre-stage in the immediate run-in to the games, This brings even closer to home the spirit of the Olympic games which is being hosted by our near neighbours in London next year. I would like to thank Pat Hickey and the Olympic Council of Ireland for their efforts in ensuring the Olympic torch visited these shores. I met with members of the London 2012 Organising Committee earlier this year and I’m delighted that they have decided to include Dublin in their torch ceremony.”
Michael Ring TD, the Minister of State for Tourism & Sport said: “I am delighted that the Olympic Flame will travel across the border into the Republic next year in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics. This historic occasion recognises the friendship, peace and cooperation that now exists on the island of Ireland and demonstrates the unifying power of sport”.
Jeremy Hunt, The UK’s Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said: “The Republic of Ireland is the only country outside the UK to be visited by the Torch and rightly so, given the unique and deep ties between Ireland and the UK. I’m sure the Olympic Flame will receive a warm and rapturous welcome in Dublin”.
Carál Ní Chuilín, Sports Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, said: “I am delighted that the spirit of the Olympic Torch will come to all parts of this island. The Olympic flame is a very iconic symbol of coming together in friendship to compete through sport. It is a flame which I think has the ability to inspire our young people to get involved in sport and I want everyone to be inspired by its history and purpose”.
The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague, said: “It is a great honour for Dublin to welcome the Olympic Torch on its way from the Temple of Hera at Mount Olympus to the Olympic Stadium in London. I and Dublin City Council look forward to working closely with the Olympic Council of Ireland, An Garda Síochána and the Irish Government in organising this historic day for Ireland when we will showcase Dublin to the world.”
Julian King, The British Ambassador to Ireland said: “I am delighted that the Olympic Flame will visit Ireland in June as agreed by the IOC this morning. I am grateful for all the work that the Irish Government, the Olympic Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council have already put into making this possible. It is a further demonstration of the closeness of our relationship with our nearest neighbour and a chance to shine a light on the rich heritage and sporting ambitions of both nations. I look forward to the celebrations on 6 June.”
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For further information please contact the Olympic Council of Ireland Press Office on 086 856 2649 0r 01 637 5219