The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic 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.
Following approval from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Olympic Flame will journey around Northern Ireland between Sunday 3 June and Thursday 7 June 2012. 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 Ireland, north and south.
The Olympic Flame will arrive in Dublin on the morning of 6 June. From the start point, 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.
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: “We are delighted to be taking 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 of Ireland ahead of the competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“I would like to thank the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland, Her Majesty’s Government, the Government of the Republic of Ireland, the Olympic Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council for developing the proposal with us.”
Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Republic of Ireland, 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.
“A number of international teams have already chosen Dublin as a training base before the London Games. The visit of the Olympic Flame next year will be a wonderful opportunity for the whole of Ireland to be even more closely involved with the 2012 London Olympic Games and for Irish people to be part of the biggest sporting event in the world.”
Jeremy Hunt, 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.”
Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, said: “I am delighted that the Olympic Flame will visit Dublin next year for what will be a historic moment. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate the rich sporting heritage of the Republic 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 moment of the Olympic Torch Relay of which we will all be proud.”