Lucan Harriers running track upgrade comes to a sudden stop

by Mark O'Brien
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Lucan Harriers

The long-awaited refurbishment of Lucan Harriers’ running track has hit a huge snag after the company carrying out the work went into administration.

The club had received funding through the Sports Capital Grant in 2015 to refurbish the track, which was originally built in 1985.

But last week news emerged that Crawfords – the company carrying out the work – had gone into administration, with work ceasing on the site.

Club chairperson Fiona Hegarty told Dublin Gazette that the club has been left extremely frustrated by the situation.

She said: “We’re in a situation where the first phase of the track was complete. The drainage works and the pipework are all pretty much complete, so our next phase we were moving in to was actually to pour the tar surface.

“That would settle for two weeks and then you put the tartan track on, so that’s how close we were to finishing.”

While the club have not lost out on any money as they have only paid for works completed, Fiona said that due to the nature of South Dublin County Council’s tendering process, there are concerns that the club may face further costs.

“The council have been very helpful straight away to be fair,” she said.

“The problem is that there’s a process that has to be followed through the council, so if this has to go through a full retender process we’re back to – not square one, we have works done – but to wait on a tender process takes months.

“Our fear is that as time has passed, that a possible retender would lead to a higher price.”
The club would also face other unexpected costs that would put a strain on their finances.
“We can’t afford to be without that track for a year,” said Fiona.

“Whatever about us releasing the track for three to four months, during that period we’ve had to rent the Weston hockey pitch, we’ve had to rent Scoil Mhuire and we’ve had to rent Le Cheile in Leixlip for the juveniles.

“We’ve 180 plus juveniles that train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and we have to have somewhere safe to train them.

“We can’t go out on the road with juveniles so it has to be a secured premises and that host cost us in terms of rental during this period, but we expected that for the period but if it goes longer that’s the difficulty for the club because we’re going to incur expenses on the back of that.”

The laying of a running track is also weather dependant, which means that the track could be delayed by up to a year.

“It’s all very climate based,” said Fiona.

“It starts at a particular time of year so that the climate goes to a certain level, so that the tar can be poured and the tartan surface can be laid. It can’t be too cold.

“We were praying for the good weather and the good weather came last week and I thought ‘great, that’s exactly when we need it’ and then it just all happened very suddenly on the Wednesday that the news started to break.”

The club are waiting for South Dublin County Council to come back to them with proposals for what to do next, but are hoping to work out a way to grit the track so that it can be used temporarily until work can be restarted.

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