By Duncan Mackay in Lausanne

DublinDecember 8 - The London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay will visit Dublin during its 70 day journey, it was officially confirmed here today after permission was formally given for it to leave Britain.

As previously reported on insidethegames, the Torch is due to journey around Northern Ireland between June 3 and June 7 but will now spend a day in the Irish capital on June 6. 

From the start point, Torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame through the city and proceedings will culminate in a mid-morning celebration event at a city centre location.

It will be first time that the Olympic Torch has ever visited Ireland.

Following the controversy that accompanied the Olympic Torch during the relay in the build-up to Beijing 2008 - when it was subject to protests around the world, particularly in London - the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned host cities taking it outside their own countries.

So special permission was needed from the IOC's ruling Executive Board for London 2012 to take it to Ireland. 

"I am delighted that the Olympic Flame will travel across the border into the Republic next year in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics," said Michael Ring, Ireland's Minister for Tourism and Sport.

"This historic occasion recognises the friendship, peace and cooperation that now exists on the island of Ireland and demonstrates the unifying power of sport.

"The visit of the Olympic Flame next year will be a wonderful opportunity for the whole of Ireland to be even more closely involved with the 2012 London Olympic Games and for Irish people to be part of the biggest sporting event in the world."

For Patrick Hickey, the President of the Olympic Council of Ireland, today's announcement was the fulfillment of more than two years work. 

"I am delighted that the Olympic Flame will visit Dublin next year for what will be a historic moment," he said.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate the rich sporting heritage of the Republic of Ireland and an opportunity for the local community to be part of the excitement in the build-up to the Games.

"We are grateful for the support of all involved and we look forward to working together to deliver a memorable moment of the Olympic Torch Relay of which we will all be proud."

Croke Park_with_spectators
Among the activities planned is for the Torch to be absailed off the roof of Croke Park (pictured), Ireland's most famous and historic sports stadium, which in 1920 was the scene of a massacre by the Royal Irish Constabulary, who, supported by the British Auxiliary Division entered the ground during a Dublin-Tipperary Gaelic football match, shooting indiscriminately and killing 14 people, including Tipperary's captain, Michael Hogan.

But decision to visit Ireland is a sign that relations have never been better between Britain and Ireland.

"The Republic of Ireland is the only country outside the UK to be visited by the torch and rightly so, given the unique and deep ties between Ireland and the UK," said Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.

"I'm sure the Olympic Flame will receive a warm and rapturous welcome in Dublin."

Other plans already discussed include boxer Wayne McCullough handing over the Torch as it leaves Northern Ireland to enter the Republic.

McCullough, who carried the Irish flag during the Opening Ceremony at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and won a silver medal in the bantamweight division at Barcelona in 1992, will hand the Torch over to Michael Carruth during a special ceremony outside Newry, it is proposed.

Carruth won the gold medal at Barcelona in the welterweight division.

"This is a historic opportunity to showcase the wealth of sporting talent from across the Republic of Ireland ahead of the competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games," said Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012.

"I would like to thank the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland, Her Majesty's Government, the Government of the Republic of Ireland, the Olympic Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council for developing the proposal with us."

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Related stories
September 2011: London 2012 Olympic Torch to be abseiled off roof of Croke Park
May 2011: Exclusive - Torch Relay visit to Ireland will be "icing on cake" after Queen's visit says Hickey
May 2011: Details of London 2012 Torch Relay route announced
April 2011: Exclusive - Hickey hails Cameron role in getting London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay to Dublin
June 2010: Exclusive - Plan for Olympic Torch Relay to visit Dublin before London 2012 given big boost