OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY ‘A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY’

The Olympic torch which is heading to Ballyronan and Magherafelt on June 7. MM12 509con
The Olympic torch which is heading to Ballyronan and Magherafelt on June 7. MM12 509con

OLYMPIC fever comes to Ballyronan and Magherafelt in around three months time.

Details of Olympic Torch relay route were released this week and Sinn Fein chair of Magherafelt Council Ian Milne said June 7 would be a “tremendous opportunity” for the district to be seen in a positive light.

Celebrations to coincide with the relay are to soon be announced by the Council and members of the public and the local community will be able to welcome the Olympic flame and share in the excitement.

Councillor Milne described the event as “a once in a life opportunity” for young and old.

“It’s a great chance for everyone in the Magherafelt district, and from further afield, to come out and witness something which will probably never be seen again in our lifetimes.

“Hopefully the event will attract a lot of people to Magherafelt which will bring benefits for the local business community.

There are expected to be 10 torchbearers those named officially to date are, Ballyronan - Karen Conn (44), ward sister, from Belfast.

Magherafelt - Jonathan Craig (37), youth worker, from Ballyclare; Ross Kearney (32), yatchsman, Northampton; Mary McCarney (69), Belfast.

Michael Browne from Magherafelt Council said: “We are delighted that the Olympic committee has decided to bring the torch to Magherafelt, the centre of Northern Ireland.

“This is a one-off opportunity for the people of Magherafelt and surrounding community to take part in celebrations; to see the Olympic flame and witness the spectacle of the Olympic torch relay.

“We are organising several events around the torch display and would encourage people to get involved by lining the streets and enjoy the atmosphere the event will bring.”

The Ballyronan and Magherafelt visit is part of a 70-day event which will see the Olympic flame come within 10 miles of 95% of people in the UK.

The relay begins at Land’s End, Cornwall, on May 19 and arrives at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The visit to Magherafelt will mark Day 20 of the UK relay and the end of its visit to Northern Ireland before going across the water to Scotland

The route of torch is as follows: 1.19pm arrives Ballyronan jetty before moving to Harbour Road, Ballyronan Road to 40mph sign. Convoy to Magherafelt.

1.32pm arrives Magherafelt Ballyronan Road B160 leaving the mini roundabout moving towards Meeting Street, Meeting Street turn right, A31 turn right, A31 at roundabout first exit, Church Street exit at roundabout second exit, Church Street A31 to Pound Road. Convoy to Ballymena.

For more information, please contact Michael Browne, Davina McCartney or Charmain Bell T: 028 7939 7979 or E: OlympicTorch@magherafelt.gov.uk .