After a wonderful trip to the Isle of Man, the Queen’s Baton Relay moved on to Northern Ireland – the 67th destination the baton will visit on its momentous journey around the Commonwealth.
The Queens’ Baton was welcomed to Northern Ireland by First Minister Peter Robinson, Olympic champion Mary Peters, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Council for Northern Ireland Robert McVeigh, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and the children of St Ita's and Knocknagoney primary schools – who walked around the grounds with our official mascot Clyde!
The baton moved onto the Aurora Centre and then to the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland at the University of Ulster, where a mixture of Team Northern Ireland athletes welcomed the baton.
Clyde and the baton took time out to swing on the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge before heading off to the Giant’s Causeway. In Irish mythology, it’s said that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner, so he built the causeway after accepting the challenge. The only giant on the causeway today was Clyde, who loved the beautiful vista. On a clear day you can see Scotland, the host nation of this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
The next day, the baton went bog-snorkelling at Peatlands Park in Dungannon and attended a tug-of war at Goodyear Social Club in Killicomaine. The Community of Rathfriland came out in force to cheer on Clyde and the batonbearers as day three of the baton’s time in Northern Ireland drew to a close.
On its final day, the baton’s made an appearance at the Dame Mary Peters Race Track – named after one of Northern Ireland’s most successful athletes. Clyde met Dame Mary at the race track bearing her name and was the stage for children to compete ina fantastic activity day. Everyone at the race track had a chance to hold the baton before it headed onto Belfast Harbour.
The final night of the relay saw the baton’s gemstone passed to the Commonwealth Games Association for Northern Ireland, before departing for its next destination – Wales.
Check out the latest images from the baton’s journey through the Commonwealth.