Monday 20 November 2017

Olympic hero Delany to carry torch in capital

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

ONE of Ireland's greatest Olympic heroes will be carrying the torch around Dublin next month.

Ronnie Delany, who won gold at the Melbourne games in 1956, will be lacing up his runners again as he joins a group of 39 other sportspeople and members of the public who will carry the torch around the capital.

Soccer legend Paul McGrath and former Ireland rugby player Shane Horgan were also confirmed as torch bearers yesterday, and will join others such as Chef de Mission of the Irish Olympic team, Sonia O'Sullivan, in the relay.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Mr Delany said he was delighted to have been selected to carry the torch.

"I'm an Olympic gold medallist so I've won the highest honour there is and I have a deep understanding of what the Olympics stands for," he said.

"The true significance of this torch visiting Ireland is in the ideals of the Olympic Games -- fair play, peace and sportsmanship."

Mr McGrath was also thrilled to get the chance to carry the torch aloft.

"Never in my life did I think something like this would happen to me," he told RTE.

The torch is due to be lit at Olympia in Greece tomorrow and arrives in the UK a week later, where the torch relay begins at Land's End on May 19.

On June 6 it will be handed over from one Olympic boxer -- Wayne McCullough -- to another -- Michael Carruth -- at the border outside Newry, at which point it will be taken by car to the Olympic Council of Ireland office in Howth, Dublin.

The relay proper gets under way at Croke Park -- when Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin will walk across the roof of the Hogan Stand with the torch -- and finishes the same day at St Stephen's Green.

Each runner will carry the torch for around 300m.

Irish Independent

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