Work on the new Municipal Athletics Track in Dundalk has resumed with phase two beginning this week as contractors return to the site at the old Pitch and Putt course in Muirhevnamor. Phase 1 was completed earlier this year which involved levelling the ground in preparation for phase two. Questions had been asked locally as to what was going on given the lack of activity over the last number of months but this week saw phase two resume which will see grass seeds being put down as well as a new fence being installed the whole way around what will be the new track.
The new track is being built on the former Pitch and Putt Course in Muirhevnamor (Muirhevnamor District Park) and the ambitious project will initially see the development of a grass track and a general training area which will be used by local athletics clubs as well as the general community.
Six athletics clubs (St Peters A.C, Mountpleasant A.C, Blackrock A.C, St Gerards A.C, Dún Dealgan A.C and the North-East Runners) formed together to create a LTD company under the name of Dundalk Athletics Association and they alongside DKIT and Louth County Council they are the driving force to ensure this project gets completed. The project is expected to cost in the region of €1.6m.
Funding of €92,500 from the Sports Capital Grant was secured towards the installation of the track and that money was used during phase 1 of the project.
The facility will be managed by Louth County Council and subject to further funding it will later include an artificial surface running track which can be used to host national and international events.
According to local TD Peter Fitzpatrick the new track will be ready to open early next year with February a very realistic target.
“I’m delighted to see work resume on the athletics track this week and I was down there myself on Monday afternoon with the council engineer and the place is looking fantastic,” stated Peter.
“This is a very important project for the town and we’ve been working very closely with Louth County Council to make sure that we keep this moving. The ground was levelled earlier this year and having given it time to settle the contractors are back this week to put grass seeds down and to build a fence around the field. They are also going to put down new footpaths.
“We have some fantastic athletes here in town and the surrounding areas and they deserve a track to train in and call their own. Dundalk is a town well known for producing sports stars and any night you go out for a walk you see so many people out walking or running and they will all be able to use this track when it is completed early next year.
“All the money spent so far has come from government funding and Louth County Council and great credit has to go to the local authority for providing the site and investment towards this project. We are in the finishing straight now and this track will be a fantastic addition to our town when completed,” stated Deputy Fitzpatrick.
The news regarding the resumption of work on the athletics track comes at a time when the sport is booming in Dundalk with the trio of Kate O’Connor, Patience Jumbo Gula and Israel Olatende all excelling on the international stage in recent years.