No running track for Rathcoole Park

By Maurice Garvey

THE installation of a 400 metre running track at Rathcoole Athletics Club is “not feasible at this time”, according to South Dublin County Council.

The council assessed the proposal in Rathcoole Park, but found a 400m running track would not fit around an existing GAA pitch and at the location of the Irish Water works in the north of the park.

Rathcoole Park 08 compressor

Rathcoole Park

Two grass pitches previously existed here.

Councillor Francis Timmons (Ind) asked the council to support a request from Rathcoole Athletics Club for a 400m running track.

However, the council say a local club, who were previously licenced to these pitches, were accommodated at pitches elsewhere in the county at “considerable inconvenience to themselves”.

“It was always the intention, and commitments have been made to ensure the pre-existing pitches were re-instated at this location and ensure the continued provision of facilities previously available in the area,” said the council.

“Irish Water, after much negotiations with the council, have recently agreed to construct two new pitches to compensate for the removal of the two pitches that previously existed at this location. One of these pitches will be a full sized pitch.

“Installing a 400m running track at this location would remove the possibility of installing a full sized grass pitch and reduce the capacity of Rathcoole Park to two small sized grass pitches.”

Rathcoole Park 10 compressor

Rathcoole Park site is not a level surface, so “additional costs would be incurred...”

A recent Sports Pitch Strategy presented to the council indicated a deficit of grass pitches available in the west of the county, and the council “cannot afford to lose the possibility of a full sized pitch at this location”.

Cllr Timmons also asked for a cost report on design and construction of a 400m running track. The council estimate the upgrade of a grit running track to full artificial surface is in the region of €550,000 and provision of a grass running track €300,000.

However, the council say the Rathcoole Park site is not a level surface, so “additional costs would be incurred in terms to site levelling / soil removal etc.”

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