Potential solution to Ballina running track issue

Mayo County Council has presented a proposal to the two athletics clubs in Ballina over the operation of the running track in Belleek.

Director of services for the area, Tom Gilligan, told today's meeting of Ballina Municipal District that the proposal is for Ballina Athletic Club and Moy Valley Athletic Club to be joint operators of the track.

This, he added, is a solution that is fair and equitable, and he implored the people involved to put ego and personality to one side and look at the bigger picture.

“My goal is to bring a sustainable solution to the people of Ballina that will involved both groups (the athletics clubs) and all the community.”

Mediation has been ongoing for some time between Ballina Athletic Club, which had an agreement with Mayo County Council covering management of the facility, and Moy Valley Athletic Club, which up until recently was not using the track.

Mr. Gilligan said there had been a series of meetings with the two groups and he thanked them for being involved in the process up to now.

With regard to the council's proposal, he said a response has been received from one of the groups club and one was awaited from the other. It was his desire to call a meeting with both groups as soon as possible in an attempt to resolve the issue.

“We want everyone to be a part of the solution going forward,” Mr. Gilligan added. “It's important that people realise now it's about putting Ballina first.”

Councillor Michael Loftus, who had raised the issue by asking for an update on proceedings, offered congratulations for the fact that young Moy Valley AC athletes have been running on the track for the past few weeks, while Councillor Gerry Ginty thanked Mr. Gilligan for his efforts to resolve a 'very difficult' situation. He too urged people to forget about the past and to think about the young people who wish to use the track in future.