The Olympic torch is heading for the Republic of Ireland next year – thanks to the Queen of England and the success of her first visit.
The iconic symbol of the world’s biggest sporting event is set to tour north and south of the border ahead of the London games.
Britain’s Olympic organizers had always planned to take the torch to the North of Ireland next June en route to the English capital.
Now it will cross the border as well after the huge success of the Queen’s visit to Ireland last week with Olympic medal winning boxers Wayne McCullough and Michael Carruth as torch bearers.
Irish Olympic chief Pat Hickey revealed the latest developments to the Irish Independent on Tuesday.
“The Queen’s visit went so well security-wise that it was the icing on the cake and I don’t see of any impediment at this stage,” said Olympic Council of Ireland president Hickey.
“The decision to bring the torch south of the border still needs to be formally taken by the International Olympic Committee at a meeting in South Africa on July 6.
“But I’m told more or less that it will be rubber-stamped. The London organizing committee has approved it, as have the British security services, who have interacted already with the gardai (Irish police) and the PSNI.”
The torch is currently scheduled to visit Portrush, Derry, Newry and Belfast.
The OCI represent Olympians from both sides of the Irish border and are keen to bring the torch south to Dublin on June 5th next year.
“I think we should do something like Wayne McCullough, a silver medalist in 1992, running it across the border to Michael Carruth, the gold medalist from 1992,” added Hickey.