Published Sunday, 26 August 2012
Dr Janet Gray lights the cauldron at City Hall. (© LOCOG)
The relay began Stormont on Saturday morning when Paralympian Angela Hendra MBE lit a ceremonial cauldron and 'splinters' of the flame were brought to towns across Northern Ireland.
On its journey the flame visited the Children's Hospice in Newtownabbey and during the day there were taster sessions for paralympic sports and demonstrations from projects in local communities inspired by the Games.
A lantern parade brought the flame to Belfast City Hall on Saturday evening where the Paralympic Symbol 'Agito' was unveiled.
The ceremonial cauldron was lit by Northern Ireland's world disabled water skiing champion, Dr Janet Gray.
Former X Factor and Pop Star to Opera Star winner, Joe McElderry, provided the music for the night and gymnasts provided an impressive athletic display.
Local participants Luminous Soul and the Open Arts Choir also helped celebrate the Northern Ireland's launch of the Paralympic Games.
Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said the festivities were a showcase for all that is positive about society.
"Everyone is encouraged to join in this event and it is important that we spread the Paralympic Games' ideal of human endeavour and energy across Ireland," she said.
"I hope all the torchbearers and flame ambassadors enjoy this celebration and take with them memories and experiences that last a lifetime.
"I also wish all our athletes from Ireland good luck in the Games. I hope they are successful in reaching all of their goals, be this taking part, exceeding personal bests or reaching the medal table."
The relay continued to Scotland on Sunday and a ceremonial cauldron was lit in Edinburgh.
The Paralympics, which starts next week, will see 4,280 athletes taking part in 503 events across 11 days of competition.