But despite a previous BBC report confirming that “the Olympic torch will travel across the Irish border”, Dublin doesn’t appear to be included in the final route. Something to do with the “complex” politics mentioned previously?
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.
[Or was it vetoed by the International Olympic Committee – Ed]. Here’s the detail for the Northern Ireland leg
- The Olympic flame arrives Belfast June 3 2012 from the Isle of Man.
Torch-bearers will carry it to Holywood, Bangor, Newtownards, Comber, Dundonald, Stormont, Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus, Glynn, Larne, Drains Bay, Ballygalley, Glenarm, Carnlough, Glenariff, Cushendall, Ballycastle, Dervock, Bushmills and Portrush.
On 4 June, the torch will be taken across the River Bann and then on to Coleraine, Articlave, Castlerock, Downhill, Ballarena, Limavady, Ballykelly, Greysteel and Londonderry.
On June 5, it will be relayed to New Buildings, Magheramason, Bready, Ballymagorry, Strabane, Sion Mills, Omagh, Dromore, Irvinestown, Enniskillen, Fivemiletown, Clogher, Augher, Aughnacloy, Caledon, Armagh, Portadown, Gilford, Banbridge and Newry.
After leaving Newry on June 6, the flame will be taken to Lisburn and Belfast.
The final leg of the relay, on June 7, will take in Newcastle, Dundrum, Clough, Downpatrick, Crossgar, Saintfield, Ballynahinch, Templepatrick, Antrim, Ballyronan, Magherafelt, Ballymena and Moorfields.
Later that day, the torch will leave Northern Ireland for Cairnryan in Scotland.
Update It’s still under discussion, apparently…
The details released on Monday did not mention any excursion outside Britain but there remain plans for the torch to travel south from Northern Ireland to Dublin in the Republic to highlight the peace process.
“We are now really working through the feasibility of this,” said [LOCOG chairman Sebastian] Coe. “For all sorts of reasons I am very keen for it to (go to Dublin).
“That’s not going to eat into any of the time we had allocated for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
This will be additional time and…it is likely to be hours.
“I really would like it to go there but that is now a matter of inter-governmental discussion and clearly any security issues.”