PRESIDENT OF IRELAND WELCOMED THE OLYMPIC FLAME
06 June 2012
Dublin, 6th June - today the London 2012 Olympic Torch arrived in Howth, once a fishing village and now a part of Dublin, where the Olympic Council of Ireland has its headquarters and where thousands of people turned out for the event that heralded the start of a historic three-hour Olympic Torch relay in Ireland.
The torch was passed between two former Olympic boxers, Belfast's Wayne McCullough and Dubliner Michael Carruth, during a special ceremony at the border early this morning.
Local student Cillian Kirwin from St Fintan's High School had the honour of running with the flame into Howth where he was greeted by Michael D Higgins the President of Ireland, Lord Sebastian Coe of the London Olympics, IOC member Sir Craig Reedie representing Jacques Rogge, Pat Hickey President Olympic Council of Ireland, and the Mayor of Fingal Cllr Gerry McGuire.
The President of Ireland told the large crowd the flame's arrival in Ireland symbolised the growing closeness of the relationship between the UK and Ireland.
Commenting, Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland said: "We are thrilled that President Higgins has welcomed the Olympic Flame to Dublin at our special ceremony in Howth – a truly historic moment for all of us in Irish sport and a signal that the London 2012 Olympic Games are effectively a 'home' Olympics for all of us in Ireland".
After a brief ceremony where the Olympic hymn was sung by school children from Howth, the flame started for the tour of Dublin which included several historic sites such as the Garden of Remembrance, the GPO and Trinity College.
The relay ended around midday with a celebration at St Stephen's Green, where the Irish team's Chef de Mission Sonia O'Sullivan lit an Olympic cauldron to commemorate the visit.
The torch was in Ireland as part of the 70-day London 2012 torch relay, and Dublin is the only city outside Greece and the United Kingdom to host the flame.