Senator Lombard's Urgent Appeal: Unlocking Cork's Athletic Future

April 23, 2024

As the urgency to address Cork's athletic track crisis grows, Run Republic reached out to Senator Tim Lombard to discuss the pressing need for funding for the Bandon Athletic Club's track development project.

Senator Tim Lombard has called on Minister Catherine Martin and Minister of State Thomas Byrne to give an injection of cash in the form of emergency funding to Bandon Athletic Club track development project which would see the project completed this year and provide a solution to the track crisis currently facing cork Athletes.

Senator Lombard said “It was disappointing that neither minister from the Department in question were available when I raised this in the Seanad last week. The response provided gave details of funding options like the Sports Capital & Equipment Programme and the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Programme, both excellent programmes but they don’t address the request for additional emergency funding.

"Since the closure of the Mardyke track in March, we find ourselves in the bizarre situation that the largest county in Ireland has no 400m track for athletes to train or compete. In fact, the Cork County Championships will take place in Kerry this year because there is no track in Cork.”.

Senator Lombard continued “Bandon AC all weather track, has made excellent progress since the first turning of the sod in 2022. I visited the site in the last few weeks and the work completed is really significant. The construction of the infield area is currently underway, lighting & kerbing have been completed. Funding is the only barrier to completing the project this year. The track crisis we’ve seen in recent weeks is a wakeup call and it is now more important than ever that Bandon complete the development as soon as possible”.

"I have written to both Minister Martin and Minister Byrne on the specific question of emergency funding given the current crisis.

"In this case, there is a well progressed, ready solution to a big issue for athletic clubs and athletes in Cork which can be solved quickly with the support of the Minister.

"Emergency funding would accelerate the availability of a Cork track this year, which would be very welcome news to the 8,600 Cork athletes currently without this training facility”.

Featured Image: Courtesy of Bandon AC

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