Olympic torch lights up Dublin
The Olympic torch entered the Republic early this morning following a handover ceremony at a former Border checkpoint in Newry.
The 1992 Olympic medal winners Michael Carruth and Wayne McCullough were involved in the ceremony with McCullough lighting the torch carried by Carruth at the border line.
London Olympics chairman Lord Sebastian Coe, Minister for Sport Michael Ring and Northern Ireland Minister for Sport Carál Ní Chuilín were present for the ceremony as well as a large number of children from the local area.
The flame was then received by President Michael D Higgins at a ceremony in Howth shortly after 8am, watched by a crowd of several thousand people.
It moved on to Croke Park, before being carried to Government Buildings, where Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore greeted flame carriers Ronnie Delaney and Bridget Taylor, mother of boxer Katie Taylor.
Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan carried the flame onto St Stephen’s Green, where a community festival was taking place. She lit an Olympic cauldron on the stage in St Stephen’s Green before the flame began its journey back to Belfast.
The torch – which before today has been carried some 2,600km through 270 communities by 1,789 torch bearers – is returning to Belfast this afternoon before moving on to Scotland.
“We will never have the Olympic Games in Dublin and the nearest we are ever going to come to it is the London Games,” said Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey.
“To have the torch relay in our part of the island is quite unique and historic, and I think in years to come people will look back and say ‘that must have been great’.”
The staging of the relay will cost some €80,000 in addition to policing costs. Mr Hickey said the Olympic Council of Ireland would be spending some €30,000 and that a further €25,000 had been put forward by both the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and Dublin City Council towards the costs.
See the route the torch took in Dublin today:
Olympic flame route times
Flame travels by convoy to Dublin
8am: President Michael D Higgins to receive Olympic flame at a ceremony in Howth.
Flame to travel by convoy to Croke Park
9.08am: Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin to carry the flame along the Skyline Walkway at Croke Park
9.30am: Torch relay to begin from Jones Road to Fitzgibbon Street, on to Mountjoy Square North and then Denmark Street
9.50am: Relay to move on to Garden of Remembrance, to junction of Cathal Brugha Street and O’Connell Street. It then passes the GPO before moving on to Marlborough Street and on to the CHQ Building, Custom House Quay
10.10am: Torch to be carried from Mayor Street to Seville Place and down Guild Street before crossing the Samuel Beckett Bridge and moving on to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
10.28am: Relay moves from Lower Grand Canal Street to Holles Street then on to Merrion Square East, Fitzwilliam Street and Leeson Street Bridge
10.43am: Torch to be carried along the Grand Canal, past Ranelagh Road, Rathmines Road and Harold’s Cross Road before turning onto Clanbrassil Street
10.59am: Relay continues down Clanbrassil Street, Patrick’s Street, Christchurch and on to Dame Street
11.17am: Torch to be carried down Dame Street in direction of Trinity College before moving on to Nassau Street, Clare Street and on to Merrion Square West
11.29am: Flame to be carried past Department of the Taoiseach
11.40am: Sonia O’Sullivan to carry the flame onto St Stephen’s Green, via Ely Place, where a community festival is taking place. O’Sullivan will light an Olympic cauldron on the stage in St Stephen’s Green.
The flame will then return to Belfast before moving on to Scotland