Delays in new running track completion hitting athletes

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SPRINTERS in a local athletics club have been “badly impacted” by delays to the completion of a new running track.

Work on Lucan Harriers AC’s new running track began earlier this year, but was stopped in April when the building company contracted to carry out the work went into administration.

Lucan harriers athletes protest at track2

Members of Lucan Harriers last month looking out at the unfinished track

The athletics club received €200,000 in sports capital funding for the track in 2015, and fundraised for the remaining money needed to pay for the construction of the €600,000 track.

South Dublin County Council selected The Crawford Group Ireland to carry out the work after the plans went out to tender, and work on the track began last February.

The Crawford Group Ireland were placed into administration and ceased trading on April 18 this year, and since then the site of the running track has been left idle while the council have put out a tender to secure another contractor.

Fanchea Gibson, PRO of Lucan Harriers AC, told The Echo: “We’re frustrated. The plans went back out to re-tender, and the tender submission period ended at the end of July.

“We are concerned in relation to juvenile athletes training on darker evenings.

“Our sprinters have been badly impacted by it.”

Overgrown and unusable

Ms Gibson explained that some sprinters have entered championships, but the lack of a running track has impacted on their training, and that members of Lucan Harriers AC use Le Chéile Athletics Club’s running track in Leixlip approximately once a month while waiting for work to be carried out on their own track.

It was expected that the running track would be complete within four months of work beginning, but now the site has become “overgrown and unusable”, according to the club.

Ms Gibson added: “We just want definitive answers. Our hope is that someone would have an interest in the tender and the running track will be finished before the cold weather, but we’re not sure how likely that would be.”

A spokesperson from South Dublin County Council told The Echo: “A tender assessment process is currently underway and we hope to award the contract to complete the track in the very near future.

“On failure of the main contractor to attend on site South Dublin County Council acted to secure the site and prevent unauthorised access.

“South Dublin County Council have since terminated the contract with Crawfords Contract Group (in administration) in line with the provisions of the works contract.

“The works have been re-tendered in line with public procurement requirements and the tender period has recently been completed.”

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