Irish Olympic officials are negotiating with Decatur, Ga. city officials concerning the use of the historic DeKalb County courthouse as an administrative and hospitality headquarters during the 1996 Games, Globalfax has learned.

Kevin O’Flanagan, the Irish representative on the International Olympic Committee, and Patrick Hickey, president of the Olympic Council of Ireland were in Decatur the week of Oct. 24 at the same time that Mary Robinson, president of the Irish Republic, visited nearby Atlanta.  Mrs. Robinson, however, did not enter into the negotiations.

Decatur, which has 17,200 residents and is east of Atlanta, hopes to initiate a wide variety of cultural, educational and business exchanges with whatever country rents the old courthouse for the Games.

Irish officials are expected to make a counteroffer in early November.  “If the Irish can meet the price, they’ve got it,” said Lyn Menne, director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Ms. Menne may be reached at (404) 371-8386.