OLYMPIC FAME

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today showcases prototypes of the London 2012 Olympic Torch to be carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers.''The winning design connects the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay to each of the 8,000 Torchbearers and their community. The Torch's triangular, gold-coloured form is perforated by 8,000 circles representing the 8,000 Torchbearers and their stories of personal achievement and/or contribution to their local community which will be celebrated during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today showcases prototypes of the London 2012 Olympic Torch to be carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers.''The winning design connects the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay to each of the 8,000 Torchbearers and their community. The Torch's triangular, gold-coloured form is perforated by 8,000 circles representing the 8,000 Torchbearers and their stories of personal achievement and/or contribution to their local community which will be celebrated during the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

THE list of local people who have been chosen to carry the London 2012 Olympic torch has been revealed.

The Olympic torch will arrive in Northern Ireland on June 3 and will make its way to Portrush that night before setting off again via Coleraine, the River Bann and Castlerock the next day.

However, the excitement over the arrival of the torch procession on the north coast has been tempered with some confusion over exactly who will carry the flame and where.

It seems that a number of local nominees have been selected to carry the torch but not through the streets of Coleraine or Portrush.

Instead some torchbearers from the Triangle are being sent to locations such as Larne, Strabane and Bangor and, given the very localised nature of their nominations, these decisions are being questioned in some organisations.

And it seems, the parade through the local towns will also feature people from towns including Hillsborough, Derry and Belfast.

One local man who WILL be carrying the London 2012 flame through his own Borough will be 32-year-old Mark Horton from Coleraine who has been chosen to carry the flame through Downhill.

Coleraine woman Heather McCarroll will be part of the torch procession in Castlerock.

Heather was nominated by her husband for her work as a mental health nurse who has worked throughout Northern Ireland. She is presently a community mental health team leader in Coleraine.

She also is an active fundraiser running the London marathon raising £2800 for the Ulster Cancer Foundation and in 2009 cycling from London to Paris for the MS Trust.

Bann Rowing Club coach Seamus Reynolds has also been selected.

Seamus told the Times: “It’s an honour not just for me but for all volunteers at Bann Rowing Club who I represent.

“We at Bann have an open gate policy, we welcome all boys and girls regardless of school, religion or ability. It will be, in the words of Peter Chambers, ‘awesome” to be a part of the Olympics which will hopefully have three Bann men competing.”

Other locals taking part will be Paul Meikle from Coleraine who will carry the torch through Coleraine along with Marcela Garza who will take part in Articlave.

16-year-old Portrush girl Louise Lyons will have the privilege of carrying the torch through her home town while Coleraine woman Jean Jones will enjoy the same honour in Coleraine.

Other locals taking part include Portrush man Barry Torrens who will carry through the torch through Glenarm, Coleraine man David Sharkey will participate in Bangor. Another Coleraine man Des Hassan will join the MLAs at Stormont while Coleraine charity fundraiser Leon McCarron will take part in Cushendall.

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 Co Antrim village of Moorfields.

REPORT: Una Culkin