Issues between Ballina's athletics clubs 'must be addressed' - council official

Story by Brian Gillespie

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018 5:30pm

Issues between Ballina's athletics clubs 'must be addressed' - council official

THE issues between the two athletics clubs in Ballina will have to be resolved soon because the matter of the lease of the track facility in Belleek needs addressing.

That was the response of Marie Crowley, manager of Ballina Municipal District, when councillors raised queries about the situation between Ballina Athletics Club and Moy Valley Athletics Club at a meeting in Bonnicolon today.

She said she will have a report on the matter for the next meeting of Ballina Municipal District (on June 20), and added that she would welcome anything that the councillors could bring to the table in terms of assistance.

The matter was first discussed by councillors last November on foot of correspondence from Ballina AC – current users of the facility – seeking a 15-year lease arrangement for the state-of-the-art track.

In Bonniconlon on Wednesday, Councillor Michael Loftus wondered if it would be possible to get a report on the matter as they (local representatives) were being asked questions from the public in relation to it.

Councillor Seamus Weir said it was 'awfully wrong' that Moy Valley AC had no use of the track because of red tape. “We have to get together and resolve it,” he stated. “It's not fair that you have an athletics club that cannot use a track that taxpayers put funds into. It looks bad that we can't resolve it.”

The situation is a tragedy, said Councillor Gerry Ginty. “It's tragic that youngsters are being drawn into a personal or semi-political row over who runs it or who has governance over it (the track),” he said. “It's causing enmity between adults but also children who are involved in athletics.”

Someone needs to 'bang heads together' to get a resolution, he added. It might be time for the council to impose that resolution. “It's a sin to see such a facility not being used to its maximum potential.”

Ms. Crowley said there had been no lack of will or effort on behalf of the council to bring the matter to a conclusion. One way or another it would have to come to a conclusion because the lease arrangement had to be resolved.




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