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Is Running Track For Carrigaline Community Park A Non Runner?

Writes Leo McMahon

The news that a full loop running track at Carrigaline Community Park isn’t likely to happen but may instead be incorporated into part of the Greenway to Crosshaven was met with disappointment from members of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD) at their monthly meeting.

A report acknowledged that it was intended to install the track over the existing path in the park and provide a looped run but to install one that could also withstand prams or buggies would mean the council would only have the resources for one that was only 200 metres long.

Furthermore, the track in question would have tight turns that were not really suitable for a running club nor would it have a straight line to facilitate sprinting.

‘Following the recent installation of the skate park and proposed relocation of the public toilet, plus another path from there to near the skate park, the amount of free space in the park has been reduced’.

Members were told council officials were looking at two other options on the existing Greenway: 1) two separate sections of around 400m of one directional track and 2) adjacent to where the outdoor gym equipment is being installed could potentially provide a two directional track 180m in each direction and be convenient to the car park and business park.

The report added that it was intended to proceed with installation of the track at one of the proposed new locations ‘as expeditiously as possible.’

Claiming the people of Carrigaline were promised a running track two years ago, Cllr Liam O’Connor (FG), who goes running, said he was “very disappointed”.

A lot of people in the locality, including the running group, raised the issue at the doorstep during the recent local election campaign and thought it would be a circuit track. He said he asked to see the plan two months ago and on being told it was reduced to around 300m, queried this and was told the material wasn’t suitable for the traffic it would get. To explain to them it was moving to a new location would be difficult, he added.

Cathaoirleach Seamus McGrath (FF) concurred. Annual funding had been carried over twice for it and he wondered how the issue concerning suitability wasn’t investigated at the outset. A lot of people, including himself, preferred running in a park rather than on or alongside a Greenway.

Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) agreed as did Cllr Aidan Lombard (FG) who felt a lot of people would prefer it to be in the park and questioned if a higher grade path was needed. Cllr O’Connor asked if short cut dirt paths from the complex to the skate park and along the river bank could be improved.

On the suggestion of senior executive officer Jim Molloy, it was agreed to meet the project engineer on site.

Later in the meeting, Cllr McGrath had a motion seeking an update on resurfacing of the community centre car park, relocation of the toilet from Owenabue car park to the park and asked about the CCTV coverage in the latter.

Senior executive engineer Madeleine Healy said both the resurfacing and relocation of the toilet would be carried out before the end of the summer. It was proposed to locate the toilet between the playground and main road entrance to the community centre.

Cllr O’Connor asked if an exterior water tap could be installed for refilling bottles and for Tidy Towns work. He also pointed out that what might remain of a running track could be close to where the toilet will be located so space would need to be provided.

As for CCTV, Ms. Healy informed Cllr McGrath, who referred to a recent incident of bottles being broken in the park, that it had been upgraded to such an extent that Carrigaline Gardai had called many times to the council’s area office to inspect the footage and were very satisfied with the picture quality.

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