Members of Lucan Harriers running club turned out in force last Thursday to highlight the delays in completing the long-awaited refurbishment of their running track.
The club’s hopes for a new tartan track by the summer were thrown into disarray when Crawfords, the contractor tasked with completing the work, went in to administration.
The site is owned by the council, which now has to re-tender for the work to be completed.
The club – which has 300 members – has asked the council to temporarily tarmac the track so that it can be used, but say that there has been little progress in negotiations.
The club say the delays in completing the track are having a financial impact on the club, as they have to hire alternative premises for their Juvenile section to train on.
Juvenile Coach Eoin Fitzgerald said: “We are just about managing at the moment renting the hockey pitch from Weston on Tuesdays as well as using the park on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“What happens come October and the dark evenings?
“Where are we meant to coach the kids for the cross-country season? There are no lights in the park. Meanwhile, the council are forking out for 24×7 security at the track. If the tender process is going to take up to six months, there will be a large security cost.
“Why can’t the council use this money to be used to lay tarmac on the track now which is the next stage of the project anyway? This means we have somewhere to train for the winter and removes the need for security at the track.”
The delays are also causing problems for adult members of the club.
Sprinter Carol Kearney said: “As a sprinter it is very difficult to train without a track. We are in the outdoor season for track events so we need to work on technique, pace, speed; all of which we cannot do without a track.
“We cannot practice block starts or train against other sprinters.”
In response to the club’s concerns, a council spokesperson said: “The main construction works for the athletics track commenced on site on the 19th of February 2018.
“On the 18th of April 2018, an administrator was appointed to Crawford Contracts Group Ltd, the main contractor for the works. 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 council considered the option of having an interim tender process for a tarmac base however this was considered counterproductive in terms of overall project completion.
“South Dublin now intend to re-tender for the completion of the track; these works will be re-tendered in line with public procurement requirements.”