Although the British press are claiming the Olympic torch may take a detour to Ireland, the official Olympic Council of Ireland say they have not seen any evidence yet to confirm the claim.

At the weekend The London Evening Standard reported the torch would visit Ireland after a deal was carved out in what the British paper called "a diplomatic coup which it is hoped will ride on the momentum of the Queen’s first visit to the Irish Republic this year."

But Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland told the Journal last week that negotiations were at a sensitive stage and that nothing had been confirmed.

"We in the Olympic Council have been lobbying for the torch project for the past three years and are cautiously optimistic that we will get a positive result.

"The final decision will be made by the International Olympic Committee in association with the London Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOCOG) in the coming weeks – and will follow intensive on-going negotiations.

"As a member of the International Olympic Committee, I have had superb support for the torch concept from Dr. Jacques Rogge, IOC President and his Executive Board. Similarly, I’ve received full encouragement and support from Lord Sebastian Coe, the head of LOCOG.

"All have indicated to me that they are fully behind the Olympic Council of Ireland’s proposal that the torch should visit both parts of the island of Ireland.

"The Olympic torch is a renowned symbol of peace and an all-Ireland visit would be very appropriate as part of the peace process.

“Should the torch visit go ahead, it will undoubtedly provide a major boost for Irish sport in Olympic year,” Hickey told the press.

The Olympic Games will be held in London and begin on 27 July next year, running through the 12 August.

The Olympic torch will be paraded around Dublin next June after a symbolic crossing of the border at Newry