Irish team won't boycott Olympic opening ceremony

Dublin  - The president of Ireland's Olympic Council, Pat Hickey, said Thursday that there's no question of the Irish team boycotting the opening ceremony of the Olympics in China this summer.

Hickey told Irish national radio that not one Irish athlete or official has expressed reservations about travelling to the event.

He said the Games' organizers are focused on the athletes and that sport shouldn't be made "the fall guy" for political issues.

Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern told the Irish Times newspaper Wednesday that the issue of Ireland boycotting the Olympics had not been discussed by the cabinet but would be reviewed in the future.

He added that "we have to deal with China in the long term" and non-attendance at the opening ceremony could mean that "the Chinese will turn their back and not engage with us." (dpa)