Flame makes Ireland visit
The Olympic flame lit up the Republic of Ireland yesterday on its only visit outside Britain en route to the 2012 London Games, in a symbolic gesture of reconciliation between the two states.
Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins received the flame, which is making a 10-week, 12,875-kilometre relay ahead of the Games that start on July 27, in Dublin following a handover at the border.
The flame was transferred across the border between 1992 Olympic boxing medallists Wayne McCullough from Belfast and Michael Carruth from Dublin.
London Games chief Sebastian Coe and Irish Sports Minister Michael Ring watched with a crowd of local onlookers as McCullough lit Carruth’s torch with his own.
“This is a truly historic day for Ireland,” said Ring.
“Today we bring the Olympic spirit into the heart of our capital city, in front of a global audience.”
The flame crossed the border as part of its five-day journey around Northern Ireland as a token of closer ties between Britain and the Republic of Ireland following Queen Elizabeth II’s landmark visit there last year.