This week the street-by-street route the London 2012 Olympic torch will take through Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic has been announced.

Initially the torch relay, which is expected to take 70 days in total, will commence at Land's End in Cornwall on May 19 and finally arrive at the Olympic opening ceremony in London on 27 July.

But first the flame will be carried through Belfast on June 3, then relay runners will carry it through more than 60 towns and villages including famous tourist destinations over five days.

Beauty spots along the route will include the famous Carrick-a-rede rope bridge, Lough Neagh and the River Bann.

There will be an anticipated 6,000 torchbearers as the torch makes its journey to the London stadium and one of them will be Strabane schoolboy Darrell Harpur. Harpur, in his first year at Strabane Academy, was nominated by his school.

'I started horse riding through school and it was pretty good so I thought I would stick with it,' he told BBC News. 'I can't wait to carry the torch. It means a lot, I'm surprised I got chosen.'

Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said it will be an opportunity for the entire island to shine.

'The relay will showcase and celebrate our torchbearers who are inspirational people who do so much for their local communities,' she said. 'As the torch journeys across the country, from Belfast to Derry to Aughnacloy, Banbridge and Larne over the four day celebration, the eyes of the world will be on our beautiful landscape and iconic buildings and our amazing cultural and sporting achievements.

On June 5 the torch will travel south on its way to Newry. From there the flame will cross the border and head for Dublin in the Irish Republic.

The torch will spend most of the morning in the Irish capital before breaking for the border once more, heading back to Belfast. The flame leaves Northern Ireland for Scotland on June 7.


Locog chairman Sebastian Coe with the Olympic torchTelegraph