Torch to visit Titanic slipways

Dame Mary Peters with the Olympic Flame at George Best Belfast City Airport as the Torch Relay reached Northern Ireland

Dame Mary Peters with the Olympic Flame at George Best Belfast City Airport as the Torch Relay reached Northern Ireland

First published in National © by

The Olympic Torch will visit the Belfast slipways where the Titanic was built as it begins its five-day relay through Northern Ireland.

The spectacular Co Antrim coastline and the setting for this year's golf Irish Open, Royal Portrush, are also on the itinerary.

The north coast is home to golf's former US Open winner Graeme McDowell and other sporting high achievers.

Former Olympic champion Dame Mary Peters, who won the pentathlon in 1972, carried the golden lantern through a packed Belfast City Airport after it landed from the Isle of Man.

The arrivals hall was full of cheering, flag-waving children and past Olympians, eager to catch a glimpse of the flame, which is visiting every part of the UK ahead of this year's London Games.

The torch will also travel to 2013 City of Culture Londonderry and Dublin in a symbol of Anglo-Irish goodwill.

Among sporting figures expected to carry it in Ireland are Olympic boxing medallists Wayne McCullough and Michael Carruth, who will take part in the handover at the border.

Other highlights will be a celebratory event at St Stephen's Green in Dublin city centre on Wednesday and the crossing of the newly-built Peace Bridge in Londonderry linking the mainly nationalist west of the city with the mainly unionist east.

The first torch bearer was Karen Marshall, who has had Crohn's disease for 14 years.

She works full-time with marginalised young people, volunteers for her local church, for REACT (Reconciliation Education and Community Training) and is a member of the local District Policing Partnership.

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