Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Meenan has welcomed the news that Cuchulainn Cycling Club plan to build the new velodrome in the JJB building at Dundalk Retail Park. The building has been purchased by DkIT after it closed down with Dundalk losing the ice rink, gym and indoor football pitches.
“This will be a tremendous boost to the area and hopefully will come to fruition earlier than originally thought when the velodrome was earmarked for Muirhevna Mor.” Dundalk Town Council had promised a long term lease for 7.5 acres of land in Muirhevna Mor Park for the project but it is thought the JJB site would be an improved version.
Town Councillor Kevin Meenan continued “the great news about this is that it could be completed and be up and running as early as September this year. It will be olympic standard so the athletes will no longer have to leave the country to train, it will be right here in Dundalk, on our own doorstep.”
With 11 of Ireland’s largest cycling clubs located within 1.5 hours of Dundalk, it makes the town the ideal centre. In addition to the velodrome, the site will also accommodate a full sized BMX track and has the potential to incorporate a closed circuit cycling track around the perimeter.
Pat O’Shaughnessy, Cuchulainn Cycling Club Chairman and Board Member of Cycling Ireland, has expressed his delight at the news.
He said: “Our club secretary Karl Dolan originally proposed the idea to the club committee back in 2009 as a project to mark the 75th anniversary of the club. We have been working solidly in the background to realise this dream and it culminated in our announcement last year that Dundalk Town Council had granted us 7.5 acres of land with full planning permission for an outdoor velodrome and BMX track.
“However following a number of meetings with DKIT we knew that this would move the whole thing to an entirely different level and make Dundalk the cycling capital of Ireland and it’s all down to the hard work of the committee and club members.”
Councillor Kevin Meenan said “this is exciting news for Dundalk and the whole Muirhevna Mor / Retail Park area.”