Northern Ireland

London 2012: Olympic torch to visit Northern Ireland

Strabane schoolboy Darrell Harpur.
Image caption Strabane schoolboy Darrell Harpur is one of Northern Ireland's torchbearers

The street-by-street route of the London 2012 Olympic torch relay through Northern Ireland has been revealed.

The 70-day relay begins at Land's End, Cornwall, on 19 May and arrives at the Olympic opening ceremony in London on 27 July.

The flame arrives in Belfast on 3 June, with relay runners carrying it to more than 60 towns and villages as well as a number of beauty spots over five days.

Torchbearers will carry the flame over the famous Carrick-a-rede rope bridge.

It will also cross Lough Neagh and the River Bann.

The names of those lucky enough to have been chosen as a torchbearer have also been revealed.

There will be about 6,000 torchbearers in total across the United Kingdom.

One of those will be Strabane schoolboy Darrell Harpur.

An avid horse rider, he travels to Omagh twice a week to ride with Riding for the Disabled Association and has competed twice in their national championships in England and in the Special Olympics.

Darrell, 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 said.

"I can't wait to carry the torch.

"It means a lot, I'm surprised I got chosen."

The Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure said that over the course of the relay the torch would be within 10 miles of 95% of the population.

Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said it was a real 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.

"Excitement is growing now that local people can begin to plan where the torchbearers will be carrying the torch in their areas and plan to celebrate the arrival in their communities."

After arriving in Belfast on 3 June, the torch will make its way to Portrush on the north coast.

Along the way it will call in on MLAs at Stormont and pass through Carrickfergus, Ballygally, Cushendall and Bushmills.

The following day it will leave Coleraine, travelling through Castlerock and Limavady before reaching Derry.

On 5 June, the torch will travel south and east as it passes through Strabane, Omagh, Enniskillen and Armagh on its way to Newry.

From Newry, 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 7 June, but not before travelling to Newcastle, Saintfield, Antrim, Ballymena and ending its Northern Ireland journey in the County Antrim village of Moorfields.

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