“The Olympic Flame will shine a light right across every Nation and Region of the UK…”

The BBC reports the announcement of the first 74 locations on the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay Route across the UK – starting at Land’s End, Cornwall, on the morning of 19 May 2012.  They have an interactive map too.  The torch will arrive in Northern Ireland on 3 June and will travel to Portrush, Londonderry, Newry and Belfast.

As the short version of the LOCOG press release notes

The cities and towns, in every nation and region of the UK, will hold evening celebrations as the Flame spreads the excitement of the Games ahead of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. The Flame will also make daytime island visits including to the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

The Torch Relay will start from Land’s End on 19 May 2012, carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers. It will come within an hour of 95 per cent of the population of the UK.

The organising committee are looking for nominations for those 8,000 people to carry the torch along the route.

And this caught my eye in a post by the BBC’s director of London 2012, Roger Mosey

What we can spot is that Locog have made sure they cover a lot of the islands, which will pose interesting logistical challenges for them and for us.

The first three weeks include the Isle of Man, Orkney, Shetland and the Isle of Lewis, with Jersey and Guernsey towards the end of the tour. Even more significant is the reference to a possible visit to Dublin, which would mark the biggest departure from the original idea that apart from the lighting ceremonies in Greece this would be a UK-only relay.

The politics here are complex – not just involving the UK and Irish governnments but the executive in Belfast too.

The full press release confirms

LOCOG also confirms today that the feasibility of taking the Olympic Flame on a short visit to Dublin is being explored with all the relevant parties.

Adds  That might fit in with the Prime Minister David Cameron’s stated aim in today’s Irish Times

With both our countries depending on strong, export-led recoveries, it’s essential we keep building on these links, doing everything possible to tear down the barriers to trade.

To that end, from July of this year to October 2012 there will be an Irish visa waiver programme – enabling those with UK-issued visas to gain entry to Ireland. This should not only encourage tourists coming over for the Olympics to include Ireland on their trip, but boost trade between our countries too.

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  • Perhaps part of yesterday’s answer from Lord McNally will demonstrate how Dublin can be included in the relay:

    “Following the declaration of a Republic of Ireland, the Ireland Act 1949 recognised that the state had “ceased to be part … of His Majesty’s dominions” and so was no longer part of the Commonwealth. However, the Act also stipulates that the Republic of Ireland is “not a foreign country for the purposes of any law” in the United Kingdom and its territories.”

  • Pete Baker

    Nevin

    That tree’s in a different wood.

  • Dec

    It’s no big deal. Ireland isn’t part of France but the Tour De France kicked off in Dublin in 1999 (if memory serves).

    NewsThump, for me, adopts the correct tone:

    ‘The Olympic torch route to be announced later today is set to include some of the UK’s most fearsome rat-infested “toilets”.

    http://newsthump.com/2011/05/18/olympic-torch-route-to-include-prominent-uk-shitholes/

  • AGlassOfHine

    Surely it is long overdue that Ireland hosted an Olympics,or World Cup,for that matter ?

  • nightrider

    In similar vein..

    http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/sport/sport-headlines/olympic-flame-to-terrify-wales-201105183831/

    AGlass….

    The Europa League final is in Dublin tonight, lots of buses from Dungannon going down to watch.

  • Lets hope Caral Ní Chuilín our new Sports Minister is involved. She is after all a MLA for North Belfast, the constituency in which the brightest medal hope from Norn Iron lives.
    I am sure we would like to see Caral carry the torch alongside Paddy Barnes in front of cheering flag waving crowds on the New Lodge Road. Paddy could wear his 2008 Olympic uniform.
    And a nice gesture surely to invite Gregory Campbell and
    Darron Gibson to carry the torch in Derry.

    Does Nelson McCauslands campaign to have “Team GB” re-branded as “Team UK” have any life in it now? I bet the DCAL officials charged with that nonsense are breathing a bigger sigh of relief than the British Olympic Association.

  • Pete Baker

    Adds That might fit in with the Prime Minister David Cameron’s stated aim in today’s Irish Times

    With both our countries depending on strong, export-led recoveries, it’s essential we keep building on these links, doing everything possible to tear down the barriers to trade.

    To that end, from July of this year to October 2012 there will be an Irish visa waiver programme – enabling those with UK-issued visas to gain entry to Ireland. This should not only encourage tourists coming over for the Olympics to include Ireland on their trip, but boost trade between our countries too.

  • Has any international team or squad (or anybody at all)been induced or encouraged to train in Northern Ireland in the run up to the Olympics? Will a single new sports build be opened prior to the Olympics? Has any single concession been gained for long distance travellers from Northern Ireland to the Olympics?

    Nelson McCausland should be asked to carry the Torch from Belfast to Stranraer.

  • Dewi

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2010/10/20112244

    Wonderful – £330m for a glimpse of a torch. Seriously, I’m a great Olympics fan and have applied for tickets – but the whole Olympic rip-off story is one of the hidden economic narratives of the last few years.

    And:

    http://www.assemblywales.org/10-002.pdf

    “In the Welsh Affairs Committee Eighth Report of Session 2008–09, the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP, Minister for the Olympics, recognised that funding of the Olympic Games would lead to a total of £65 million of Lottery funding being diverted away from Wales in order to fund the Games. However, the report also highlighted that a common feature of lottery grant applications is matched funding, hence the figure of £65 million of funding to be diverted away from Welsh projects did not take into account the leverage value of the money. The Welsh Government Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones AM, is noted as saying that this could result to a loss to Wales as high as £100 million.”

    That’s another £330m subsidy from us. So Over £650m drained from some of the poorest places in the UK to one of the richest.

    See this:
    http://www.clickonwales.org/2010/11/olympic-games-sign-death-warrant-for-barnett-formula/

    Apologies if tangential.

  • Yes.
    One team has been in training……near Newcastle in the Mournes.
    A facility there has been used for seminars and training purposes by one Olympic team……and will be used in the run up to London 2012……it is the Irish team.

  • “the biggest departure from the original idea that apart from the lighting ceremonies in Greece this would be a UK-only relay.”

    Pete, you can see from McNally’s statement that Ireland and its people are still regarded as part of the UK family in all manner of ways. Cameron’s statement emphasises the importance of the economic dimension and the need to minimise barriers.

  • FitzjamesHorse1745

    re Mournes
    That’s what you think.

    Actually it is a recce team for an international utility outfit aka Thames Water preparing the way for lobbying the Assembly, and ultimately a bid, given that we are too stupid to invest in our biggest and best natural asset.

  • Alias

    Enda Kenny and David Cameron both spoke about the possibility of the torch which “will shine a light right across every Nation and Region of the UK” shining said light in Ireland.

    Given the language of the political elite here is symbolism, the symbolism is irridentist and represents the Ireland reuniting with the ‘motherland.’

    Not that Kenny would understand the language. It would be translated for him as “It’s just a treat for the Irish; a gesture of goodwill from a good friend and neighbour.”