A 13-year-old boy from Dublin has become the only Irish person to carry the Olympic torch in the relay to Rio de Janeiro ahead of the opening ceremony next week.

Mark O'Brien from Blackrock ran with the torch last night in the city of Volta Redonda.

He had written to the President of the Rio 2016 organising committee telling him of his wish to be a torchbearer.

Mark O'Brien

Mark O'Brien

He said his dream of running with the torch helped him battle his way back to health after becoming seriously ill in 2012 as a result of a compromised immune system.

Mark's mother Joan described watching him carry the torch as "magic".

Mark is one of around 12,000 torchbearers who are carrying the Olympic flame across Brazil ahead of the beginning of the Games on Friday.